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
policies for residence permits and financial incentives to lure more talent.
For example, Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province, promised bonuses of 150,000 and 200,000 yuan for house purchases to gradua
tes with master’s and doctoral degrees, respectively, after they work in the city for three years.
Haikou, capital of Hainan province, is attracting college students with a monthly rent s
ubsidy of 1,500 yuan, with an 18,000-yuan allowance to graduates who decide to buy an apartment there.
Employment, especially some groups such as college gradu
ates and demobilized military staff, remains a priority to the government.
Premier Li Keqiang said at a teleconference on May 13 that employme
nt pressure will be felt this year by a larger number of college graduates. However, promotin
ial media, they develop a negative relationship with their bodies. This often leads th
em to engage in “fat talk”－resulting in much lower self-esteem, Shen added.
Ye, from Hangzhou, who works as an accountant for Silergy Corp, said more than 90 percent of her colleagues in the finance
department are women, ranging in age from the early 20s to late 40s. Some have families, while others are singl
e or just “jump into” romantic relations. But all of them have varying degrees of dissatisfaction with their body shape.
“Every woman in our office is unhappy with at least one part of her b
ody. One of them might say her face is too round, while others are unhappy with their arms when
we sit together and gossip,” said Ye, who weighs 48 kg but frowns as she looks at the shape of her thighs.
“I have often thought I would be more attractive if my thighs were thinner,” she said, a
dding that one of her colleagues had not eaten dinner for at least two years in order to stay slim.