According to the 2002 International Potato Center research report, China is now the No. 1 producer of potatoes.
They have overtaken Russia and are on the road to continued development of land for potato production on a major scale.
The International Potato Center, located in Lima, Peru, will help build a CIP-China. This new research center will not only work with China but surrounding countries and especially North Korea.
In the 1990s CIP introduced virus cleanup technology that boosted Chinese production. The CIP-China will evolve from that joint project.
China hopes to establish a string of potato centers in the country's major potato and sweet potato-growing areas. The Chinese government is eager to move the project along, using management techniques for China's agro-economics.
One setback for China, however, is the discovery of both the A-1 and A-2 strains of late blight. This has been in varieties which were thought to be late blight resistant.
The Chinese are also alarmed by the reduced effectiveness of metalxyl fungicide to hold the disease.
Because North Korean leaders believe the potato will lift the country out of poverty, the CIP is including them in the project.