This is a literally recipe for rioting in the streets.
Business is normally bustling at the sprawling Xinfandi produce market in southern Beijing, where stores, restaurants and thrifty shoppers buy their fruits and vegetables in bulk.
But more apple sellers were napping than hustling one recent afternoon. The price of apples had nearly doubled, to roughly $1 per pound, and people were spending their money elsewhere.
Already grappling with a slowing economy and President Trump’s trade war, Beijing now has to worry about the rising price of food. It is not just apples. Other fruits and vegetables are more expensive. The price of pork has jumped as the country deals with a devastating swine fever epidemic. Chicken, beef and lamb prices have been creeping up, too.
When juxtaposed with the current tit-for-tat on tariffs, where the Chinese have placed taxes on American agricultural products, this is a heady mix.