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Monday, August 25, 2008

More News on Chinese Infrastructure

This from the Epoch Times over the Weekend:
Southern China was slammed by severe snowstorms resulting in blackouts which seriously affected railway transportation for millions of people planning to travel for Chinese New Year. The Jing-Guang (Beijing-Guangzhou) Railway, one of the major railways connecting North and South China, was nearly paralyzed by the storm. Some experts and reporters have noted that this situation exposes insufficiencies and inefficiency in China's infrastructure, particularly for transport and the electric power system. It has also shown that its capacity to handle a crisis is very fragile; Chinese authorities need to consider this situation seriously. According to a recent article written by Deng Liwen, a researcher at the Central Party School in Beijing, currently the biggest problem facing China's rail transit system is not only its inability to meet the demands of social and economic development, but also that it is falling behind the air and road transit systems. As of 2006, China had less than 80,000 kilometers of railway, only six percent of the world's total railway length. This is an average railway length of about six centimeters per person in terms of China's 1.3 billion people, while its railway network carries 24 percent of the world's rail freight traffic.
Doing business in China is sounding better and better every day. You don't have to worry about environmental or labor regulations. Eminent Domain is not a problem. What's not to love?
China has always suffered from aridity, as about 20 percent of its landmass...but the situation is getting worse. Persistent drought, overgrazing, indiscriminate use of ground water and rampant logging are eroding the edges of China’s deserts, allowing them to merge and spread. Recent satellite imagery shows that the Badain Jaran desert in north-central China is pushing southward toward the nearby Tengger desert to form a single, larger desert, overlapping both northwestern Gansu province and neighboring Inner Mongolia. Expanding deserts swallow almost a million acres of land every year, China’s State Environmental Protection Administration says. Soon 40 percent of China could turn into scrubland, creating massive social, economic and ecological challenges, including the problem of millions of “ecological refugees.”

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