Global experts have noted that China has been hoarding the major types of grains and that by next year, the majority of the world’s food supply will be sitting in Chinese warehouses. The country has a thousand-year history of famine despite government hoarding. The Biblically-minded will pay more heed to what this means for the end-of-days and how this fits into prophecy.
China: Hoarding rice, wheat, and corn
The Watchers, a website that reports on weather and natural phenomena, published an article last week headlined, “China stockpiling food at historically high levels”. The article cited NIKKEI Asia, the world’s largest financial newspaper with a daily circulation exceeding three million.
NIKKEI noted that China, with 20% of the world population, is expected to have 69% of the globe’s maize reserves in the first half of the crop year 2022, 60% of its rice and 51% of its wheat. This represents a rise of 20 % over the past 10 years. China spent $98.1 billion importing food in 2020, up 4.6 times from a decade earlier, according to the General Administration of Customs of China. In the January-September period of 2021, China imported more food than it had since at least 2016. Over the past five years, China’s soybean, maize and wheat imports soared two- to twelvefold on aggressive purchases from the U.S., Brazil and other supplier nations. Imports of beef, pork, dairy and fruit jumped two- to fivefold. China is importing more grain and other food because domestic production is unable to keep up with consumption. China’s wheat imports surged 50% between January and July, compared to the same period of 2020.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, China will hold 69% of the world’s corn reserves, 60% of its rice, and 51% of its wheat by mid-2022.
China’s hoarding is at least partially to blame for soaring food prices. The food price index, calculated by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, in November stood about 30% higher than a year earlier. Bloomberg noted that in recent months, food prices have hit 10-year highs.
China’s history of famine and political unrest
The only way for China to maintain food security is by hoarding. The size of China’s arable land has been in decline for decades, reduced by urban development and soil contamination. Its farms are far less productive than counterparts in other countries.
China has a long history of stockpiling food. In imperial times, they served as a source of tax revenue and a means of managing bad harvests, natural disasters, and war. This tradition was further strengthened by bouts of famine during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when natural and political disasters brought hunger and starvation to millions.
“Throughout history, food shortages have triggered popular unrest,” NIKKEI wrote. “They served as a contributing factor to uprisings that toppled Chinese dynasties. And the world’s second-largest economy now faces food uncertainties due to factors such as its deteriorating relations with the U.S. and Australia, which could drastically alter the import environment. In fact, this could be what is prodding China to boost its calorie reserves.”
In response, Mao Zedong and China’s Communist Party rose to power on promises of solving hunger. Despite these promises, tens of millions of Chinese died in famine during their reign.
The current hoarding follows suit. In 2013, just weeks after taking office, President Xi Jinping endorsed a nationwide campaign to discourage people from wasting food as part of a “Clean plate campaign”. In 2020, Xi called on the Chinese government to “maintain a sense of crisis about food security.”
Global food supplies have been challenged by the pandemic with international travel curtailed and supply chains failing. CNN reported that up to 25% of oil trucks are not moving because of a lack of qualified drivers which has translated into shortages of fuel at some gas stations. Modern agriculture is gasoline intensive, relying on heavy machinery.
Most calculations predict a global food crisis by the year 2050 when the world’s population is expected to reach 9.1 billion. At that point, in order to meet global demand, the world will need to produce 70% more food than today to feed all those people.
Famine in Prophecy
By hoarding a substantial, if not majority, of the world’s food supply, China is threatening to bring on a food shortage with global impact. This type of unprecedented global famine is described as a precursor to the Messianic era.
The Talmud (Sanhedrin 97a) describes a precise schedule of increasing famine based on the seven-year Shemitta (Sabbatical) cycle that presages the Messiah. The Talmud cites the Prophet Amos’ prediction of bizarre rain:
I therefore withheld the rain from you Three months before harvesttime: I would make it rain on one town And not on another; One field would be rained upon While another on which it did not rain Would wither. Amos 4:7
It should be noted that the previous verse explicitly states that the end of days will see extreme famine as a means to urge people to repent before the Messiah:
I, on My part, have given you Cleanness of teeth in all your towns, And lack of food in all your settlements. Yet you did not turn back to Me —declares Hashem. Amos 4:6
The Talmud goes on to describe the next years in the Sabbatical cycle of famine:
During the second year of that period, arrows of famine will be shot, indicating that there will be famine only in certain places. During the third year there will be a great famine, and men, women, children, the pious, and men of action will die, and the Torah is forgotten by those who study it. During the fourth year there will be plenty but not great plenty. During the fifth year there will be great plenty and they will eat, and drink, and rejoice, and the Torah will return to those who study it. During the sixth year, heavenly voices will be heard. During the Sabbatical Year, wars, e.g., the war of Gog and Magog, will be waged involving the Jewish people. During the year after the conclusion of the Sabbatical Year, the son of David will come.
a renowned 18th-century Jewish scholar and leader known as the “Alter Rebbe”. While reading from the Torah scroll, the Alter Rebbe had a vision that the Messiah would come after the year 5775, six years ago. His vision was based on the Jewish tradition that the world was given a general amount of sustenance to last 4,000 years from creation. When that sustenance ended, the Messiah would come. It is taught in the Talmud, the book of Jewish oral law, that the Messiah can come anytime between the year 4000 and the year 6000, according to the Hebrew calendar. His vision came while reading the section of the Torah dealing with the half-shekel taken from every Jewish male, each year. The half-shekels from the 600,000 Jews in the desert (Numbers 1:46) equaled one hundred talents of silver, with each talent composed of 3,000 full shekels of silver. But the Bible lists an additional 3,550 half-shekels (1,775 full shekels), from which Moses made the silver hooks at the top of the pillars used to set up the screen surrounding the Tabernacle in the desert. The Alter Rebbe explained that those 1,775 shekels of silver given to the tabernacle gave the world another 1,775 years of sustenance.
This sustenance, as pointed out by the scientific experts, is quickly running out.