China releases more pork from reserve to cool prices

Animal right activists wearing pig masks stage a memorial rally for those slaughtered due to African swine fever in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. South Korea on Wednesday said it was intensifying efforts to clean farms around the country as it scrambles to contain the spread of the highly contagious African swine fever that has ravaged farms near its border with North Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Animal right activists wearing pig masks stage a memorial rally for those slaughtered due to African swine fever in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. South Korea on Wednesday said it was intensifying efforts to clean farms around the country as it scrambles to contain the spread of the highly contagious African swine fever that has ravaged farms near its border with North Korea. The banner reads " Stop burial of living pigs." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Animal right activists wearing pig masks stage a memorial rally for those slaughtered due to African swine fever in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. South Korea on Wednesday said it was intensifying efforts to clean farms around the country as it scrambles to contain the spread of the highly contagious African swine fever that has ravaged farms near its border with North Korea. The banner reads " Stop burial of living pigs." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

BEIJING — China's government is releasing pork from stockpiles for the second time this month to help cool surging prices ahead of next week's celebration of the Communist Party's 70th anniversary in power.

The government said Thursday it will auction off 10,000 tons of pork, the country's staple meat.

The price of pork has soared almost 50% from a year ago due to a devastating outbreak of African swine fever that killed or prompted authorities to destroy vast numbers of pigs.

That is a sour political note for the ruling party, which bases its claim to power in part on improved living standards over three decades of market-style economic reforms.

The disease that is fatal and very contagious for pigs does not harm humans. It has spread to many Asian countries.

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