Communist Rule and the Food Security Situation
Since 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a Leninist political organization leading a party-state, has ruled China. In this chapter we narrate the development of the planned economy in China, including agricultural growth targets, and then focus on the early choices of the regime, which influenced agricultural production: land reform and collectivization, the Great Leap Forward (1958–1960), and the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, and a brief succession struggle, Deng Xiaoping assumed leadership of the party and state. Deng radically changed China’s economic development policy, opening the Chinese economy to competition and gradually engaging the Chinese marketplace with the world. The chapter also treats the current food system (focusing on production and use) in 2009, as well as changes in food choices in China.