nd for decades and witnessed local farmers’ continuous battles against sandstorms.
“It didn’t just feel like a black storm, it was as if the whole desert was approachi
ng,” recalls Liu Conghui, a writer who was born, and still lives, near the farm Wang once worked.
As the menacing sandstorms made the area increasingly inhospitable, Liu’s whole community planned to up sticks.
To restore the local ecosystem, the Chinese government launched
a 10.7 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) project in 2001. A set of measures were adopted such as sav
ing water, converting farmland into grassland, providing treatment for dry riverways and building dams. In addition to t
hose measures, industrial and agricultural use of water in cities and counties along the river was limited.
Over the past two decades, Xinjiang has infused 7.7 billion cubic meters of water into
the dry trunk stream of the lower reaches of the Tarim River in 19 rounds of water diversion.
higher than in previous years,” she said. “Also, the rainy season is supposed to
begin after the May Day holiday, but I haven’t seen a drop of rain so far.”
Data from the National Climate Center shows that the average rainfall from April 1 to May 17 is 35.3 millim
eters, down almost two-thirds from the same period last year, the least recorded rainfall over that period since 1961.
In addition to the drought, the average temperature is 1.9 C higher than average for the period, the highest since 1961.
Chen, the chief forecaster, said that according to the mid- to long-term forecast ra
infall will relieve drought in the eastern part of Yunnan province, though its western part will still be plagued by the drought.
Surveillance from the National Climate Center shows that
drought is also occurring in the Inner Mongolia and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous regions, as well
The emerging service sector also grew very fast, Meng said.
In April, the information transmission industry, along with software and inform
ation technology services, grew 25 percent year-on-year, 17.6 percentage points higher than the national index of services.
Online retail sales amounted to 3.04 trillion yuan ($440.2 billion) in the first four m
onths, a year-on-year increase of 17.8 percent. Around 17.07 billion parcels were delivered, up 24.8 percent over last year.
She said the transformation of traditional industries is speeding up as they combine with information technology.
“Through implementing national big data and internet plus strategies, internet, big da
ta, and artificial intelligence technologies have been widely used in China’s real economy,” she said