The person recording the footage said: "We just received a notice that we are required to cut down these trees and grow grains instead, even if financially it ends up being a loss. Commodity prices are so high nowadays – fertilizers, pesticides and prices are ridiculously high."
According to the video, the forests being cleared out for growing grains are located at the city of Weifang in Shandong province. Local authorities in Weifang ordered the clearing of forest land. The video showed many trees in the background that had already been chopped down, with some having their roots exposed. Other peasants had removed a large area of mature trees at the behest of Weifang officials.
The footage also captured a speaker in the village making an announcement. The speaker said trees are prohibited from being planted in farmland, and that the newly cleared forest land cannot be used for fish ponds or fruit orchards. They also reiterated that the trees must be cut down within a limited timeframe before authorities forcibly "kill" them.
Another man in the footage, who identified himself as a resident of Jining city in the same province, said authorities commanded them to remove trees to grow crops as the country faces looming food shortages. "Chainsaws for cutting trees are now out of stock at local stores," he added.
The Jining resident said that "in the past, we were told 'If you want to get rich, first of all, plant some trees.' Now, they told us we are forbidden to plant trees."
A government official in Shandong province confirmed the tree removal operations to the Chinese-language version of the Epoch Times. "Even fish ponds must be filled to grow crops. Anyway, you have to do what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) requires you to do," said the Shandong official.
The forest clearing operations in Shandong follow admissions by Beijing that its domestic capability to grow food crops is low. Data from the General Administration of Customs found that China imported 164 million tons of grain in 2021, which means that its dependence on foreign imports is almost 20 percent. (Related: China buying up American corn due to flooding, creating food shortage crisis.)
Several commentators shared their analyses of China's food crisis with the Epoch Times. Current affairs commentator Yang Si pointed out that aside from possessing yellow soil, Shandong is prone to drought and removing trees can lead to soil erosion.
The Japan-based Yang noted that the newly cleared land will require more than the average amount of fertilizers and pesticides to ensure a good harvest. "Peasants will have a hard time making any profit due to the increasing costs of fertilizers and pesticides," he added.
Independent commentator Zhang Sutian, meanwhile, pointed his finger at the CCP's fraud and corruption as the reasons behind China's food shortages. According to Zhang, who has two decades of experience in the food industry under his belt, many grain depots in China are actually empty due to corruption. He described the country's grain reserves as "equivalent to a huge bad debt" with too many interest groups involved.
Zhang also remarked that the situation in the grain depots has been covered up, with the problem being exacerbated yearly. He cited a 2013 incident when the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection sent a team to inspect the China Grain Reserve (CGR) for the first time. Following the commission's probe, 78 CGR grain depots in Heilongjiang province at China's northeastern tip "caught fire."
Scholar Xue Chi agreed with Zhang that the CCP's incompetent governance exacerbates China's food shortage problem.
"The CCP has never successfully established a modern agricultural production system. Its agriculture development is far behind its industrial development. Not only is its agriculture industry unable to compete with developed countries, it cannot even meet the domestic demand. This is caused by the CCP system."
Xue cited the CCP's "deception, fraud and all kinds of messy conduct" as the underlying reasons for China's worsening food crisis. "Once the dark curtain is pierced through and truth exposed, the disaster will be out of control," he said.
Read more stories like this at FoodSupply.news.
Watch the video below talking about how China's food supply crisis is actually artificial.
This video is from the ZGoldenReport channel on Brighteon.com.