China is unable to feed itself. Its appetite has grown too large, too fast.
Last year, a Chinese company bought Smithfield Foods, the iconic ham brand and America’s largest pork producer in the largest Chinese purchase of an American business.
The deal came two years after China’s communist government issued an edict directing its food industry to scour the globe in search of agricultural resources, prompting concerns about the government’s role in the takeover.
The Center for Investigative Reporting spent four months digging into the deal and produced two pieces that aired on PBS NewsHour over the weekend. The reporting was funded in part by the McGraw Center for Business Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and The Grantham Foundation.
Part 1 examines the Bank of China’s role in the deal and Shuanghui International’s relationship with the government.
Part 2 looks at the consequences of China’s antiquated agricultural system at home – and the potential impacts of its search abroad for more food.