Drought in China Turns Vast Tracts of Land to Desert

By Li Xia, Epoch Times
March 19, 2013 6:31 pm Last Updated: April 3, 2013 9:22 am

Four years of droughts in southern and northwest China have resulted in severe desertification, poor harvests, and water shortages, affecting the lives of 400 million people, according to a Chinese NGO.

The China Green Foundation says a total of 2.6 million square kilometers of land has turned into desert, amounting to 27.4 percent of China’s land. On average, 2,460 square kilometres of land becomes desert each year, but the drought is quickening the process. 

On March 18, the Chinese regime’s mouthpiece People’s Daily reported that 12 provinces are affected, including Hubei, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Sichuan.

Ms. Chen from Wangjiazhai in Guizhou Province, told The Epoch Times that people are waiting for it to rain so they can plant crops. “We haven’t seen any rain for a few months, maybe half a year already … The land is dry and hard, and cannot be cultivated; even corn does not grow here.”

In Laohekou City, Hubei Province, a thick layer of sand up to 50 centimeters deep has been deposited along the banks of the Hanjiang River, and the entire area within a radius of 2 kilometers from the river is covered in sand.

A female resident told The Epoch Times that there has been no rain since September: “Crops have dried up, and life is very hard. Areas near the river are full of sand that is spreading everyday. No matter how hard we dig, there is sand still everywhere.”

The desertification problem that China faces is among the most severe in the world, and could seriously hamper the country’s economic development.

Prominent Chinese author and economist He Qinglian said in a 2005 article that much of the damage to the ecosystem can be attributed to the Communist Party, and this environmental issue needs to be solved using political means. 

Ms. He said that the degradation caused by modern technology, such as the Three Gorges dam, is far worse than the damage by Mongolian rulers during the Yuan Dynasty, who turned rich farmland south of the Yangtze River into animal ranches, and were despised by local farmers.

“In addition to problems with the governing system, the regime must utilize its passion for Party culture brainwashing to popularize environmental concepts among the people,” Ms. He added.

Translation by Sophia Fang. Written in English by Peter Valk.

Read the original Chinese article