Chinese agricultural authorities on Wednesday fended off negative remarks made by a policy institute president over food security, saying China is able to feed itself.
"China poses no threat to world food security but will contribute quite a lot instead," said Bi Meijia, chief economist and spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture. "We can carry our rice bowls quite safely."
The Chinese official's comments came almost three months after Lester R. Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, raised fresh concerns over China's demand for world grain in his latest research note Who Will Feed China?
Bi said China's grain self-sufficiency rate stood above 97 percent in 2013 and cereal imports reached 14 million tonnes, accounting for less than 2.6 percent of the country's cereal output.
His comments were in contrast to Brown, who warned in February that as China imports increasing quantities of grain, it is competing directly with scores of other grain-importing countries, such as Japan, Mexico and Egypt.
Brown said China turning to the outside world for massive quantities of grain was "forcing us to recognize that we are in trouble on the food front".