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U.N. envoy forecasts food security issues for China

A United Nations envoy to China said the country has made "remarkable progress" with food security but predicted probable difficulties for the country in terms of feeding its population, citing a decrease in arable land combined with urbanization and rising food prices, according to The Associated Press.

U.N. Human Rights Council food expert Olivier De Schutter told the news source that China's success is hallmarked by its 2005 transition. At that time the nation, which was formerly a food aid recipient, became an international food donor.

"It is quite remarkable that this country, despite the restraints it is facing, is able to feed itself and has achieved such a high level of self sufficiency in grain production," he told the news outlet.

However, De Schutter expressed concern over the decline of soil quality and recent food safety concerns in China, especially the silencing of activists who have spoken out about harmful foods, the U.K.'s Guardian reports.

"You cannot protect the right to food without the right to freedom of expression and organisation," he said.

At 1.3 billion, China's population comprises one fifth of the world's demographic, according to the AP.
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