Friday, March 6, 2009

China Increasing Spending on Agriculture

The Guardian has an article saying that the Chinese government is expanding spending on agriculture in its annual budget by 121 billion yuan (about $17.8 billion). This marks a 20% increase this year. However, what is interesting about this spending increase is not the numbers, but the justification: short-term alleviation of the financial crisis, but long-term expansion of resilience to climate change.

With China, though, its often important to hear what is said about the government from the inside, as well as the outside. While the Guardian's article focuses on climate change as the main reason for the 20% spending increase, Xinhua, the official press agency of the Chinese Government, barely mentions climate change in its article. Instead, the focus is on expanding agricultural subsidies, increasing the price of grain, and investment in rural infrastructure. Clearly much of this is short-term oriented spending that has little to do with climate change.

So, in this case, it would appear that the Chinese government is spending money on their priorities, but claiming (at least internationally) that they are doing it in the name of climate change. As Orwell said, though, "Language can corrupt thought." While the Chinese government may be disingenuous about using this money specifically to deal with climate change, if they continue to talk about investing in climate change-related issues, they may eventually start to take the threat of climate change seriously.
Note: The graphics come from the Chinese Government. Aren't they great?

1 comment:

  1. Well it is good that China is spending lots of money to improve the agricultural and rural sector. But to stop climate change China must stop producing goods for other countries because most of the air pollution in China is due to the production of goods for other countries like America and Europe. Thanks for posting.

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