The feared-for harsh winter is arriving. The bitter cold front that has enveloped the north is sweeping southwards, covering parts of southern China with snow and threatening central and southeastern regions of the country with blizzard conditions. This cold snap may pass in a few days but the question is what damage the forecast return of extremely cold weather in January and February will do to farming, and thus the battle against the food-price-driven part of inflation.
Life is slowly returning to normal in many of the winter-storm battered central and southern parts of the country, with the exception of Guizhou and Guangxi provinces.
Both are mountainous. The huge official relief effort that is making headway elsewhere is taking time to reach those two provinces’ many remote areas. On Sunday, nine more people died when a bus carrying them skidded off an icy road in Guizhou, Xinhua reported, taking the official death toll to 60, though that is probably an underestimate.
State media are reporting that recovery efforts have restored electricity, cleared blocked roads and railways, and resupplied food markets across most affected areas. That is probably an overestimate.
Meanwhile, the Central Meteorological Station forecasts more rain and snow for most parts of southwest China, with sleet and icy rain for Guizhou in the next two to three days.