In this chapter, we briefly review the key transitions in China’s food system, particularly the recent industrialization process in the agricultural sector. We situate these agrarian changes in the context of an authoritarian state and describe the state’s political philosophy centred on social harmony and food security. We summarize the ecological disaster of China’s “food security miracle” and detail the “food safety crisis” and pervasive climate of food distrust. The chapter closes with a discussion of the relationship between the Chinese state and civil society, which serves as an overarching framework to structure the following chapters.