Grain imports are always a sensitive topic in China, due to China's historical food insecurity. There are usually two arguments around the issue; one that imports should be only a supplement to national reserves, and the other that importing rice should be determined by market needs. Wei Jianguo, vice-president of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, supports the latter idea, as he recently told the Global Times.
Wei said it is reasonable to open up import channels when demand for high-quality rice is increasing, since that could save China’s soil and water resources.
Some worry imports will damage Chinese farmers' interests, but Wei argued the central government could take measures such as only importing high end rice. Wei noted that other agricultural products like corn and cotton could also be traded, both within Asia and with other continents.