China slams West, backs India’s wheat export curbs

BEIJING : China on Sunday came to India’s defence after G7’s criticism over the decision to regulate the export of wheat, saying that blaming developing countries like India won’t solve the global food crisis. Last week, the Indian government amended the export policy of wheat by putting its export under the “prohibited” category. The order that was rolled out by the ministry of commerce stated that the government has banned the wheat exports with “immediateeffect”. But what came as surprise amid this report was the Chinese state media’s defence of India after criticism from G7 nations. Global Times (GT), a Chinese government outlet said, “Blaming India won’t solve the food problem”. “Now, the agriculture ministers from G7 urge India not to ban wheat exports, then why won’t G7 nations themselves move to stabilise food market supply by hiking their exports?” asked an editorial published in GT. “Although India is the second-largest wheat producer in the world, it accounts for only a small part of global wheat exports. By contrast, some developed economies, including the US, Canada, the EU and Australia, are among major exporters of wheat,” it added. As per GT, if some Western countries decide to reduce wheat exports in the wake of a potential global food crisis, they will be in no position to criticise India, a country that faces pressure to secure its own food supply. The article argued that G7 countries were welcome to join the efforts in tackling the global crisis and advised against criticising India and other developing countries. India issued a statement on Saturday where it said the decision to restrict wheat exports will control food prices and strengthen the food security of India and countries facing a deficit, and that India remains a reliable supplier.