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Gourmets in the Land of FamineThe Culture and Politics of Rice in Modern Canton$
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Seung-Joon Lee

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804772266

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804772266.001.0001

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Granary of the Empire, Laboratory of the Nation

Granary of the Empire, Laboratory of the Nation

The Canton-Hankow Railway and the Hunan Rice Sales Project in Canton

(p.175) 8 Granary of the Empire, Laboratory of the Nation
Gourmets in the Land of Famine
Stanford University Press

This chapter evaluates the Guomindang province's attempt to improve domestic rice consumption in Canton through the construction of the Canton-Hankow Railway. Once the Canton-Hankow Railway was complete, their technocratic triumphalism blinded their eyes to the complexity of the rice trade. With the Canton-Hankow Railway not yet completed, the promoters of Hunan rice sales in Canton had no choice but to continue to follow eighteenth-century methods. The Railway project had offered Chen Bozhuang with a great opportunity to delve into Hunan's rice economy and its potential contribution to replacing foreign rice in the diet in Guangdong. The reinvention of Hunan rice was not attained by Chen's efforts alone. Before the railway was finished, the Canton Food Regulation Committee, under the Guangdong provincial government, finished a careful survey of the anticipated Hunan rice trade and started to negotiate with the Hunan authorities.

Keywords:   Guomindang, Canton, Canton-Hankow Railway, rice trade, Hunan rice, Chen Bozhuang, rice economy

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