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  • 《土壤污染威胁舌尖上的中国中英文双语》

    China's soil pollution: It's much worse than you think

    土壤污染威胁舌尖上的中国中英文双语

    When the Chinese government completed its first national soil pollution survey in 2005, the findings were so alarming that Beijing promptly declared the data a "state secret."

    2005年,中国政府完成了首次全国土壤污染调查。由于调查结果令人震惊,政府当即宣布这份数据为“国家机密”。

    Chinese leaders apparently changed their minds and, a few days ago, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Land Resources jointly announced the key results of the 2005 survey.

    现在中国领导人显然改变了主意。几天前,环境保护部(the Ministry of Environmental Protection)和国土资源部(the Ministry of Land Resources)联合发布了2005年调查的主要结果。

    While the rare display of transparency from the Chinese government merits applause, the admission that close to 20% of China's arable land has been contaminated by heavy metal not only demonstrates the severity of China's environmental degradation but also has profound economic and geopolitical consequences for the international community.

    中国政府难得展现的透明度值得赞赏,但公布中国近20%的耕地面积已经遭到重金属污染的结果不仅表明中国环境恶化的程度非常严重,而且对国际社会的经济和地缘政治也将产生深刻影响。

    Before Beijing's latest disclosure, the most pessimistic estimate of China's soil pollution suggested that perhaps up to 10% of China's arable land had been contaminated. Now, the official data show that the actual amount of polluted land is twice as large. Roughly 66 million acres of arable land are laced with dangerous chemicals and should be taken out of agricultural production. The Chinese government has set 300 million acres of arable land as the minimum amount of land needed to ensure the country's food security. As of 2012, China had 334 million acres of arable land. If the 66 million acres of polluted land were to be declared unfit for food production, the total amount of arable land would fall 32 million acres below Beijing's self-defined "red line."

    披露这项数据之前,涉及中国土壤污染最悲观的估计认为,中国最多有10%的耕地面积已经被污染。而现在官方数据显示,实际被污染的土地面积是预估数据的两倍。大约6600万英亩(约合39600万亩)耕地含有危险化学品,无法进行农业生产。中国政府设定确保国家粮食安全所需的最低耕地面积为3亿英亩(约18亿亩)。截至2012年,中国拥有3.34亿英亩(约20亿亩)耕地。如果政府宣布这6600万英亩被污染的土地不适宜生产粮食,则耕地总面积将比中国设定的“红线”还少3200万英亩(约19200万亩)。

    Due to its large population and land scarcity, the amount of arable land on a per capita basis in China is only half the global average. Since China launched its modernization drive 35 years ago, urbanization, industrialization, and rising consumption have further reduced available arable land and increased demand for food production. Although Chinese agricultural output has grown by a factor of 4.5 in this period, demand growth has outpaced production. As a result, Chinese imports of food, particularly grain, have risen rapidly. In 2011, China imported 9.9 million tons of grain. Last year, China imported 22.8 million tons, roughly 7% of total global grain imports. According to the OECD, China imported 6.2% of its food in 2001. That figure rose to 12.9% in 2012.

    由于人口众多,土地资源稀缺,中国的人均耕地面积只有全球平均水平的一半。自从35年前中国启动现代化进程以来,城市化、工业化和消费增长一方面进一步削减了耕地面积,一方面又增加了对粮食生产的需求。虽然在此期间,中国农作物产量增长了4.5倍,但需求增长得更快。中国的食品进口(尤其是粮食进口)因此快速增长。2011年,中国进口了990万吨粮食。去年,中国粮食进口量为2280万吨,占全球粮食进口总量的7%。根据经济合作与发展组织(OECD)的统计,2001年,中国有6.2%的粮食来自进口;到2012年,这个比例已经上升至12.9%。

    If anything, this trend will only accelerate in the future if soil pollution forces China to take land out of production and rely on imports to make up for the shortfall. Although Beijing will have ample financial means to pay for its food (it had a net trade deficit of $31 billion in agricultural products in 2012), its efforts to source food from abroad will have disruptive effects on a global food production system that will come under increased strain due to climate change, population growth, and industrialization. In a worst-case scenario, Chinese attempts to increase its food security could encounter an ugly backlash abroad.

    未来这种趋势只会加速,因为土壤污染将迫使中国部分土地停止农业生产;而且,中国将依靠进口来弥补粮食缺口。虽然中国政府有雄厚的财力来购买粮食(2012年中国农产品的净贸易赤字为310亿美元),但从国外采购粮食将对全球粮食生产系统造成破坏性的影响。由于气候变化、人口增长和工业化的影响,全球粮食生产系统未来将面临越来越大的压力。最坏的情况是,中国尝试确保本国粮食安全的做法可能会遭到国外的强烈抵制。

    Most likely, Chinese officials and private entrepreneurs will pursue strategies that promise to deliver quick results to plug the growing hole in China's food output. Buying well-established Western food companies that own or have access to clean land and water supplies is evidently a tempting tactic. In May 2013, Shuanghui International, a Chinese pork producer, paid $4.7 billion for Smithfield Foods, then the world's largest hog farmer and meat processor. This acquisition, a brilliant business move in its own right, also has the practical effect of strengthening China's food security.

    中国官员和民营企业家更有可能寻求立竿见影的措施,以填补中国粮食产量的缺口。收购成熟的西方食品公司(它们拥有或能够获得清洁土地和水资源)显然是一个诱人的策略。 2013年5月份,中国猪肉生产商双汇国际(Shuanghui International)以47亿美元的价格收购了当时全球最大的养猪及猪肉生产企业史密斯菲尔德食品公司(Smithfield Foods)。此次收购本身是极为成功的商业举措,但同时也在实际上增强了中国的粮食安全性。

    China can also build food-processing factories or acquire such facilities in countries with ample arable land and water resources (preferably countries that welcome and protect foreign investments). In March, a top Chinese baby formula maker, Synutra International, broke ground on a $125 million facility in Brittany in France. It will produce high-quality milk products for the Chinese market, where locally made baby formula is viewed as unsafe because of pollution. Acquiring established food producers and investing in food processing facilities are better options than purchasing arable land abroad (which is more politically sensitive and economically risky).

    中国也可以建立食品加工厂,或者在耕地和水资源充足的国家收购这类工厂(最好是欢迎、保护外国投资的国家)。今年3月份,中国一线婴儿配方奶粉生产商圣元国际(Synutra International)首开先河,投资1.25亿美元在法国布列塔尼半岛开工兴建奶粉工厂,为中国市场生产高品质奶制品。由于污染问题,中国民众认为国内生产的婴儿配方奶粉不安全。购买国外耕地政治上更敏感,经济风险也更大。相比之下,收购成熟的食品生产商以及投资于食品加工厂是更好的选择。

    At the moment, such moves by Chinese companies have been modest. They have raised eyebrows, but not alarms. However, in the future, if soil pollution causes the Chinese public to lose confidence in the safety of food produced in China, Beijing may have no choice but to expand its efforts, which could be viewed as a threat to food security by foreign nations.

    目前,中国企业在这方面的行动一直较为温和。它们已经引起了国外的注意,但还没有拉响警报。然而,如果今后土壤污染导致中国公众对本土所产食品的安全性失去信心,中国政府就别无选择,只能扩大类似举措,而其他国家会认为这将威胁它们的粮食安全。

    While China's need for food security is understandable and will create enormous opportunities for countries with excess production capacity, Beijing must move carefully. It must devise credible and enforceable safeguard mechanisms that will reassure its trading partners. Otherwise, foreign governments will erect barriers to stymie Chinese efforts.

    虽然中国对粮食安全的需求可以理解,同时也会为产能过剩的国家创造巨大机遇,但中国政府必须小心行事。它必须制定可信以及可强制执行的保障机制,从而使贸易伙伴放心。否则,外国政府就会设置障碍,阻挠中国的行动。

    In light of China's massive soil pollution, such a development would be an epic catastrophe.

    鉴于中国土壤受污染面积巨大,这种势头将给中国带来巨大灾难。

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