China will strictly stick to a “red line” on the size of arable land the country owns – 1.8 billion mu (about 120 million hectares) – to ensure food security, said Minister of Natural Resources Wang Guanghua on Sunday.
Wang made the remarks at the “Ministers’ Corridor,” during which government ministers meet the press and take questions at China’s “two sessions,” the annual gathering of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
“Arable land is the lifeline of crop production,” Wang noted. China has only 9 percent of the global cultivated land but has to sustain about 20 percent of the world’s population.
According to Wang, the ministry will focus on three aspects of work: keeping the total size of arable land, completing a system of awards and penalties on arable land preservation, and delegating concrete targets to local governments and assessing the results.
Wang also answered questions concerning China’s mineral resources as well as biological conservation.
The minister said that the ministry will explore ways to tap deeper into China’s domestic mineral resources in order to reduce the reliance on imports.
He also reiterated China’s determination on biological restoration and biodiversity protection.