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Persistent Drought Challenges China Model Sustainable development

Feb 17, 2011

China's 2011 began with a severe dry spell, which has drawn anxieties both at home and abroad. Nearly four months of drought in the northern part was broken only last week. Should China adjust its water-intensive industrial model? How can the nation achieve its goals of the 21st century while contending with a thirsty civilization? Global Times (GT) reporter Chen Chenchen talked to Zheng Fengtian (Zheng), professor and deputy director of School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, the Renmin University of China, and Li Guoxiang (Li), research fellow at Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, on these issues.

GT: It is the third severely dry season in three years. Persistent drought now appears to be a basic national scenario. Will drought continue to haunt China in the 21st century?

Zheng: There have been various guesses and predictions about China's water resource distribution in the coming years. Global climate change will certainly cause more and more frequent extreme weather events. This is a consensus. In China, extreme weather events will also be more frequent.

The amount of global precipitation is fixed, and drought in one region is often accompanied by floods in another. The droughts in northern part of China, the floods in Australia and the blizzards in the US and Europe are interrelated.

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