Tag Archives: Chongqing

Power Rationing Widens As China’s Extreme Heat Continues

SHANGHAI IS THE latest city to introduce electricity rationing as drought and extreme temperatures overstrain the country’s power grid.

Buildings along the Bund have been told to turn off external lighting for two evenings early this week to save power.

In the middle reaches of the Yangtze river, where conditions are severe, falling water levels have reduced the power supply from its hydroelectric dams. At the same time, demand for air conditioning has soared.

Factories and shopping malls in Chongqing have already been subject to temporary power cuts as authorities prioritise supply to domestic consumers.

Impacts on production have varied; vehicle maker VW says its plant has shut down, while electronics maker Foxconn says the effects have been minimal.

Authorities have extended the power saving measures by five days into a second week, with Sichuan and the rest of the Southwest bearing the brunt of the extreme heat.

Falling water levels have also disrupted shipping. Tesla’s Shanghai plant has suspended production because components are not arriving from Sichuan.

The impact on agriculture is growing, too. On Saturday, Sichuan’s provincial disaster committee said that 47,000 hectares of crops had been lost and 433,000 hectares damaged. More than 800,000 people face a shortage of drinking water.

In neighbouring Hubei province, authorities say 6.9 million hectares of crops are damaged, and a further 220,000 people are short of drinking water.

Brush fires are starting to be reported, adding further peril.

State media report that the drought threatens the autumn grain harvest, which provides three-quarters of the annual yield. Authorities are cloud seeding to try to induce rain.

China issued the year’s first national drought warning last week, a yellow alert, the third highest. The summer is the hottest and driest since China began keeping temperature and rainfall records in 1961, adding to the stress on an already slowing economy.

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Rains Bring Scant Relief To Drought In Southwest China

A villager takes water at an almost dried out reservoir in Haila Township of Weining County, southwest China's Guizhou Province, May 20, 2012. Southeast regions of Guizhou are hit by rainstorm and flood while northwest of the porvince are still stranded in drought, which has lingered in the areas for about half a year. A total of 29,763 people and 1,600 hectares farmland in Haila Township have been affected by the drought, according to the local government. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin)

Nearly 5.5 million people are still suffering from lingering drought in Yunnan and Sichuan despite the recent rains bringing some relief. Authorities say that only 290,000 fewer people and 220,000 fewer livestock in the two provinces are short of water because of the break in the weather. More than 400,000 hectares of crops have been affected, according to the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. Rainfall in the two provinces has been at 10% of normal levels, threatening tobacco, corn and rice crops.

Separately, disaster relief authorities in Guizhou say that more than 5.5 million people have been affected by drought, rainstorms and hailstorms that have caused direct economic losses of 1.8 billion yuan ($283 million) so far this year. The picture above of an almost dried out reservoir in Weining County in Guizhou is dated May 20.

Meanwhile, three people died when torrential rain hit Chongqing, and more than 5,000 people had to be relocated after a heavy rainstorm hit parts of Hunan. In Nanning, capital of Guangxi, nearly 900 people were evacuated after a road next to which a school had been drilling for drinking water subsided, causing one building to collapse and six more to tilt.

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Shenzhen Joins Pilot For China’s Carbon Trading Market

Shenzhen has been added to the list of provinces and municipalities that will pilot China’s proposed carbon trading market. That takes the initial set to seven. The participation of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hubei and Guangdong has been known since the summer. An official with the National Development and Reform Commission confirmed the go-ahead with the pilot scheme to Xinhua, but otherwise details remain sketchy. Central government has still to set overall carbon discharge reduction targets, which are a prerequisite for establishing the national carbon trading market that has been pencilled in for a 2015 launch.

By then, China’s goal is to have cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 17% from 2010 levels, according to a white paper on climate change issued this week ahead of the UN’s forthcoming climate change talks in Durban in South Africa. A reduction of that magnitude will be a tough ask given the pace of the economy’s growth. The pilot carbon-trading scheme is expected to start in 2013.

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Death Toll From China’s Rains Hits 70

The death toll from rain-triggered floods and landslides in central China has risen to 70 with 32 others missing, officials now say. The National Disaster Reduction Commission says more than 21 million people across eight provinces are now affected by the unusually late and heavy summer monsoon rains deluging Sichuan, Shaanxi, Henan, Chongqing, Hubei, Shandong, Shanxi and Gansu. Direct economic damages are put at an estimated 26 billion yuan ($4 billion). Hubei, Shaanxi and Sichuan have borne the brunt of it.

In the worst incident, a landslide that buried a brick factory and partially destroyed as ceramics plant in Baqiao, a suburb of Shaanxi’s provincial capital, Xian, 27 people are now reported dead with a further five missing. Rescue teams continue to recover bodies. (Update: The final death toll has been confirmed at 32 with the recovery of the last missing body on Tuesday, four days after the landslide.)

Meanwhile, the highest flood crest so far this year on the rain-swollen Yangtze river reached the Three Gorges Dam on Wednesday morning, raising the water level to 164 meters, 20 meters above the alert level.

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When Beijing Betters London And Shanghai LA

A McKinsey Global Institute ranking of the world's top 50 cities by GDP in 2005

By 2025, Shanghai and Beijing will have higher GDPs than Los Angeles and London, a further sign of the world’s eastwards economic shift. The prediction comes from the McKinsey Global Institute, the economic research arm of McKinsey & Co., the international consultancy firm, which has been working on mapping the changing economic power of the world’s metropolitan areas, and is recirculating some work on this it first released in March. Shanghai is already among the world’s top 50 cities ranked by GDP, but as well a Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Foshan, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan and Xian will all join it by 2025, McKinsey predicts. European cities will be most numerous among the dropouts, but another will be Taipei.

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No Let Up To Southwestern China’s Drought

 Zhao Qingde, a local villager, collects water to feed cattle from a reservoir which is drying up at drought-affected Ayulin Village of Shilin Yi Autonomous County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Sept. 7, 2011. Lingering drought has affected 16,987 hectares, or nearly 70 percent of the total area, of crops throughout the county.

The numbers affected by the drought in southwestern China continues to edge up. Officials say that 12.6 million people are now short of water while 6.25 million hectares of farmland have been left parched as rivers and reservoirs dry up across Yunan (seen above in a photograph taken on Sept. 7th), Guizhou, Hunan, Sichuan and Chongqing. At the end of last month, 12 million people were said to be facing water shortages. Relief teams have been deployed across the region to ensure emergency water supplies while local officials are being instructed to prevent food shortages. Light rain is in the forecast for the next three days but it will likely provide scant relief from the arid spell and high temperatures that have persisted since July.

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Drought In Southwestern China Intensifies

A housewife wash clothes at the dried-up Dongjin Reservior in Huangzhulin Village of Zhaotong City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 23, 2011. A lingering drought has withered up almost 220,000 hectares of crops and dried up 15 rivers in Zhaotong, leaving at least 190,000 people and 28,000 livestock short of drinking water.

The drought in southwestern China is getting worse despite some recent rainfall. State media report that more than 12 million people are short of water in Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan, Sichuan and Chongqing, twice as many as reported a week ago. More than 9 million head of cattle are also short of water, half as many again as last week. Nearly 6 million hectares of crops have been parched as hundreds of reservoirs and rivers have dried up since the drought started in July. The picture above is of what remains of the Dongjin reservoir in Yunnan, taken on Aug. 23. Low water levels have also hit hydropower generation, exacerbating seasonal power shortages.

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Heatwave And Drought Parch Southwest China

Severe drought continues in southwest China. Temperatures have hit 40℃ in Chongqing with rivers and reservoirs drying up. The heat and lack of rain is expected to persist over the next week in Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan and Jiangxi. More than 2 million people in Guizhou alone are short of drinking water. Some 760,000 head of livestock are also short of water, while more than 1 million hectares of crops have been affected. In all, 6 million head of livestock and 6.9 million people are short of water across the Southwest. Almost 4.7 million hectares of arable land have been affected. However, officials say the effect on the grain harvest will be less damaging than in other years.

Meanwhile, heavy rainstorms, floods and landslides have hit 61 cities in the north and east of the country, causing at least 10 deaths.

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Drought Now Reported In Southwest China

Xinhua says that 190,000 people in one county in the Chongqing municipality in southwest China face water shortages because of a lack of rain for four months. Ponds and wells are said to have dried up. Light rain is in the forecast for the area for the next few days but it is unlikely to be sufficient to break the drought.

Unlike the North China Plain where drought is posing a serious threat to China’s grain harvest, the Sichuan basin is more a producer of livestock, milk, poultry, eggs and vegetables. Chongqing municipality and Sichuan, from which it was carved out in 1997, account for 10% of national meat production and 7% of the country’s eggs. If the drought persists, the risk is to the fodder crops for livestock, which could mean more corn having to be bought, putting further pressure on grain prices. If the dry weather is accompanied by above normal temperatures that will put chickens at risk of death from heat exposure.

 

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China’s Property Prices Still Rising, If More Moderately

The arc of rising property prices is flattening if not inverting in response to the measures introduced last year to cool the market by controlling credit. Home prices in China’s 70 largest cities rose 6.4% in December year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics says. That was the eighth consecutive month of slowing year-on-year growth rates since April’s 12.8% peak.

December’s month-on-month rise was 0.3%. The continuing growth suggests buyers are racing to beat new residential property taxes. Chongqing is due to start a pilot scheme shortly and Shanghai has just confirmed it will follow suit.

The new taxes are unlikely to have much short term impact. Cutting off credit for new development will continue to be the policy priority. Real estate investment rose by a third in 2010 to 4.8 trillion yuan ($730 billion). Beijing will want to see that number come down in 2011 and the mix of spending favoring affordable housing in inland areas over high-end properties towards the coasts.

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