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China in Focus: Biden to Speak by Phone “Soon” With His Chinese Counterpart, Xi Jinping

Reuters writer Joe Cash reported yesterday that, “China’s new Premier Li Qiang said that the country’s food security is guaranteed and that state policies to support food production will increase, at a news conference to mark the close of the annual sitting of parliament on Monday.

“Premier Li also said that that rural areas should develop based on local conditions and that the government seeks to boost economic, cultural and ecological values in rural areas to further promote rural revitalisation.”

“Record U.S. FY 2022 Agricultural Exports to China,” by Graham Soley. International Agricultural Trade Report. USDA- Foreign Agricultural Service (January 6, 2023).

Recall that U.S. agricultural exports to China set a record in fiscal year fiscal 2022 ($36.4 billion), surpassing the previous year’s record.

Regarding fiscal year (FY) 2023 exports, last month, in its quarterly agricultural trade update, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service noted that, “China is forecast to remain the largest market for U.S. agricultural exports at $34.0 billion, unchanged from the previous forecast.”

China also imported record volumes of soybeans in the first two months of 2023.

More broadly with respect to U.S. China relations, Washington Post writers Meaghan Tobin, Christian Shepherd and Lily Kuo reported yesterday that, “China needs ‘self-reliance and strength in science and technology‘ to better compete with the West in military preparedness, economic growth and many other areas, leader Xi Jinping said Monday, closing an annual Chinese Communist Party meeting during which he cemented his hold on power and escalated his rhetorical confrontation with the United States.”

The Post article added that, “In his first speech since being confirmed Friday for a third term, Xi pledged to ‘build the military into a great wall of steel that effectively safeguards national sovereignty, security and our development interests,’ adding that ‘safety is the foundation of development, and stability is the prerequisite for prosperity.'”

And Matt Viser and Ellen Nakashima reported on the front page of today’s Post that, “President Biden appeared at a naval shipyard here [San Diego] on Monday afternoon with his British and Australian counterparts to announce a major new plan to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines in what amounts to a direct counter to China’s growing influence in the region.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s Jenny Leonard reported yesterday that, “President Joe Biden plans to hold a phone call with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, once the legislature concludes its annual gathering and the government in Beijing returns to work, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.

“‘We have said that when the National People’s Congress comes to a close, as it now has, Chinese leadership returns to Beijing, and then all of these new officials take their new seats, because of course you now have a new set of figures in substantial leadership positions, we would expect President Biden and President Xi to have a conversation,’ Sullivan told reporters Monday on Air Force One en route to San Diego.

“Biden answered ‘yes‘ to a shouted question from a reporter Monday about whether he would speak with Xi soon.”

Also yesterday, Bloomberg writers Peter Martin and Jacob Gu reported that, “China will resume issuing visas to tourists and other foreigners, a significant step in the country’s move to rejoin the world and leave its stringent Covid restrictions behind.”

Meanwhile, the following tweets continue to highlight the importance of the Chinese market to U.S. goods:

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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