According to some observers, the biggest concern of President Xi Jinping is not the war on duties with the US, nor the Hong Kong demonstrations, but the increasingly high price of pork.
In 2019 – precisely in the Year of the Pig – the price of pork has grown by 46.7% until August, causing a three-point increase in the consumer price index, with a relative influence on inflation. The pig-related industry contributes 128 billion US dollars to the national economy and constitutes 60% of the Chinese meat diet.
For over a year in the country there has been an epidemic of African swine fever. Started with an infection of cattle on a farm near the Russian border, it has now spread to all 31 provinces of China, decreeing death by disease or extermination of over 200 million pigs, almost half of the animals bred in Country.
Many people point to Xi Jinping as responsible for this crisis. To avoid all dialogue on the trade war with the US, the president has preferred to impose taxes on pork coming from the USA (second producer in the world, after China) and open to imports from Russia, known to be the most affected by swine fever.
To avoid heightened tensions over rising pork prices, yesterday the government decided to sell 10 thousand tons of frozen pork from its strategic reserves at auction. China created a strategic pork reserve in 2007, but its extent is unknown.
The pig is a symbol of well-being: the ideogram of “home” is designed like a pig under a roof. Somehow, if pork is missing, you can’t be happy. At the feast of October 1st, for the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, the population will be able to witness one of the largest military parades, with ultra modern “made in China” weapons, but perhaps it will not have pork on the table.