Stockpiling food and energy reserves, accelerating the nuclear arms race, decreeing “non-war military operations,” even the “zero covid” policy create a series of the CCP’s activities recently that have observers around the world wondering what’s really going on in China. .
Reserving 50-70% of global food
China has been quietly hoarding food for the past few years and is increasing its food imports.
In December 2021, the RT news agency reported that China had the largest grain stockpile in the world: “The world’s most populous country, China, has managed to stockpile more than half of the globe’s corn and other grains, and is expected to boost food reserves further.”
Bloomberg said, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, China’s corn stocks are likely to account for 69% of the world’s reserves by the middle of 2022, with 60% of the rice, and 51% of the wheat.
The Asia Nikkei newspaper citing data from the General Administration of Customs of China, also showed that the country spent $98.1 billion on food imports in 2020, up 4.6 times from a decade earlier.
Also according to Asia Nikkei, head of grain reserves at the National Strategic and Food Reserve, Qin Yuyun told reporters in November 2021 that China is maintaining its food stockpile at a “historic high.”
Energy scavenging: enough reserves for three-quarters of global demand
China ramped up its crude scavenging as the COVID-19 pandemic broke out across the globe in 2020, a time when crude oil prices were at all-time lows.
According to Reuters, in 2020, China imported 542.4 tons of crude oil – equivalent to 10.85 million barrels per day. CNN on July 1, 2020, also reported that, as of June 29, China had stored 73 million barrels of oil on 59 different ships adrift at sea off its northern coast. ClipperData, which tracks waterborne flows of crude oil in real-time confirmed this. To give you an idea of what that actually means, that is three-quarters of global demand.
Also according to CNN: “China’s floating storage” – understood as barrels of oil on ships waiting for 7 days or more at the end of June 2020 has nearly quadrupled since the end of May 2020 and increased 7 times higher than the monthly average in the first quarter of 2020.
According to the OEC, Brazil is the leading source of oil in China’s “floating storage.” In addition, China also imports oil from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Iran, and Venezuela.
Of course, many other countries were also taking advantage of the low oil prices during the pandemic to bolster their emergency stockpiles. But China’s oil hoarding did not stopped even as prices rose, with crude oil demand in China gradually declining because of the pandemic, or the zero-covid policy.
On February 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced new contracts for the supply of Russian oil and natural gas to China, estimated at $117.5 billion.
According to data from Reuters, China’s crude oil imports from Russia jumped 55% from a year earlier to a record in May 2022; this is quite surprising given that China’s demand for crude oil is declining due to the economic blockade.
Arms racing, unprecedented expansion of nuclear arsenal
Over the past few decades, China has built up its armed forces, especially its Navy and Coast Guard. Between 2013–2018, China built coral reefs and uninhabited islands in the South China Sea – including Fiery Cross Reef, Woody Reef, Mischief Reef and Subi Reef – increasing their land area by 3,200 acres through reclamation and dredging.
The September 2021 Japanese Ministry of Defense report compiled satellite images that clearly show dramatic militarized changes to islands in the South China Sea between 2015–2018.
In addition, China is accelerating the construction of a large-scale Missile Silo Field, which has raised international concerns that China is expanding its nuclear arsenal.
According to the FAS report, in July 2021, a series of silos with inflatable domes were discovered at Yumen, Hami, Ordos in Gansu Province and at the training complex of the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) at Jilantai in Inner Mongolia. The structure and equipment inside the bunker are said to be suitable for storing China’s latest arsenal, the DF-41 missile.
The report assessed, this is China’s unprecedented nuclear accumulation.
With around 250 silos apparently under construction – more than ten times the number of ICBM silos in operation today, the number of new Chinese silos under construction exceeds the number of silo-based ICBMs operated by Russia and makes up more than half the size of the entire US ICBM force. China’s missile silo program is the largest project since the United States and the Soviet Union built missile silos during the Cold War.
Considering retaking Taiwan a top priority
In November 2021, the CCP adopted the third “Historic Resolution” at the Sixth Plenary Meeting of the 19th Central Committee, laying out the “Overall Strategy to solve the Taiwan problem in a new era” by Xi Jinping.
According to VOA, the CCP is waging a propaganda war in the international community to reshape public opinion to legitimize the occupation of Taiwan.
It could be an all-out armed invasion, or a complete blockade of Taiwan by soft military means, or aiding pro-CCP forces inside Taiwan to carry out secessionist actions, deliberately causing social unrest, then using that as an excuse to send troops.
Wang Liqiang is a former Chinese spy who fled to Australia. Before defecting, Wang’s main mission was to divide the people of Taiwan, manipulate elections, and overthrow candidates from factions hostile to the Chinese Communist Party.
Decreeing “military activities outside of war”
Taiwan News, citing Xinhua News Agency, said Xi Jinping – as chairman of the Central Military Commission – signed a decree on the “draft test of military operations outside of war” on June 13. According to experts, this decree is supposed to clear the way to prepare for force against Taiwan.
Australia’s ABC News quoted Dr. Eugene Kuo, executive director of the National Institute for Policy Studies, as saying that in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine, such an edict from Beijing has “sent out” a threatening signal to Taiwan, Japan, and the countries surrounding the South China Sea.”
ABC also cited Beijing-based analyst Wa Qiang, explaining that from the CCP’s perspective, a military campaign to invade Taiwan would be just a sequel to the unfinished civil war in 1949. Such an edict would therefore allow the CCP to conduct “non-war operations” rather than a new war in the strait.
On the same day that Xi signed the decree on “non-war military operations,” China sent fighter jets to violate Taiwan’s air defense identification zone; for the 4th time in June.
Internal purge with Zero-COVID?
Despite forcing people to mass vaccinate, despite evidence of a very low death rate from COVID-19 and despite the reopening of the world, the CCP resolutely implemented its controversial “zero-COVID” policy.”
The harsh shutdown of an entire city for months has created famine, mass suicides, and deaths from lack of prompt medical care. These losses are much larger than those caused by the pandemic itself.
The world couldn’t understand why the CCP took such a strange path alone.
Observers outside China believe that “zero-COVID” could be the perfect pretext for Xi to handle internal disagreements. He may be hoping that the zero-COVID policy will succeed in averting a major crisis of legitimacy ahead of the 20th Party Congress in October 2022. Observers said that it is no coincidence that Shanghai – which is considered the center of operations of Jiang Zemin’s faction – is the most tightly locked down area, the most damaged because of “zero-COVID.”
According to current affairs expert Hao Ping’s writings in The Epoch Times, since the outbreak of the pandemic, Xi’s zero-COVID policy has been criticized at home and abroad, causing serious damage to the Chinese economy. It also became a heavy gun used by the anti-Xi faction led by the Jiang faction to attack Xi in the past two years. Therefore, Xi must resolutely win the zero COVID policy.
All of the above reasons could suggest that the CCP seems to be preparing for a major confrontation, preparing cushions against U.S. and Western sanctions. China is deliberately stockpiling large amounts of food supplies, microchips, ammunition, and commodities, in preparation for economic isolation by the West, like what the U.S. and NATO did with Russia. Given a very bad example from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan and/or the South China Sea is very likely in the future.