Fortune: Inside China’s $43 Billion Bid for Food Security

Fortune: Inside China’s $43 Billion Bid for Food Security



The worst famine in human history occurred in China from 1959 to 1961. An estimated 34 million people starved to death. The horrors were beyond imagining—the elderly and disabled left to perish because they couldn’t work; murder and cannibalism within families. Hundreds of millions of Chinese people today, including most of China’s top leaders, survived that famine, writes Geoff Colvin in a recent wide-ranging analysis of the Syngenta-ChemChina merger for

The legacy of that searing experience—the most recent of China’s many famines throughout history—continues to influence the country’s strategic thinking. It’s a major factor behind China’s biggest-ever foreign corporate acquisition: ChemChina’s planned takeover, for $43 billion in cash, of Syngenta (SYT, -0.11%), the Swiss-based world leader in advanced insecticides, herbicides, and other crop-protection products and the No. 3 producer of seeds.

Why should we care about a Chinese chemical company buying a Swiss agricultural business, however mammoth the deal might be?

Its a bit of a doozy (long read) but if you’ve got the time head on over to to read the rest of Colvin’s story.

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