China’s State Council said genetically modified (GM) crops must be developed more quickly in order to ensure food supplies in the face of reduced arable land and climate change, AFP reported. Speaking at a meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, leaders said newly approved plans to grow high-yield, pest-resistant GM crops were of "strategic significance" in efforts to develop the agricultural sector. The State Council did not say what crops should be developed, but analysts believe corn and rice are likely candidates. China is a major producer of GM cotton, peppers and tomatoes, but has not produced GM rice, corn or soybeans on a large scale. The State Council approved a grain security plan last week that targets an annual grain output of more than 500 million tons by 2010 and 540 million tons by 2020.