- Extreme heat leads to power bottlenecks
- Could Mercedes be taken over by China?
- Washington and Taipei begin trade dialogue
- Li Keqiang wants “proactive” provinces
- Construction on new coal-fired power plants begins
- Flood victims in Qinghai
- Hong Kong activists plead guilty
- Air force exercises in Indo-Pacific
- Heads: Xu Lin, Xi Jinping’s propaganda expert
It is and will remain hot – and not just in Germany. China has been suffering under record temperatures for weeks, with thermometers rising to 44 degrees Celsius at times. Droughts are threatening harvests, hydroelectric power is underperforming, and coal-fired power plants need to be activated to supply electricity. The industry, on the other hand, is shutting down in some places: Production at Bosch, Toyota, Foxconn, CATL, and other large companies in Sichuan has been cut back or is at a complete standstill. Nico Beckert knows more about the effects and reasons.
Just like the temperatures, the Taiwan issue is and will remain hot. Taipei and Washington want to start formal talks on trade cooperation. The People’s Republic is “not amused,” but is holding back on loud threats. Finn Mayer-Kuckuk’s analysis shows that the talks are likely to be primarily political since true free trade is currently out of the question for the United States. He reports where a possible Taiwan-US agreement could apply.
Meanwhile, Mercedes enjoys a mild climate. The Stuttgart-based company sells many vehicles in China, with 36 percent of all cars decorated with the three-pointed star going to customers in the People’s Republic. A large proportion is locally built, and research and development are also increasingly taking place in China. The Group’s shares, of which 20 percent are in different Chinese hands, are also popular. But is that a cause for concern? After all, the Stuttgart-based group is considered vulnerable to takeovers because of its ownership structure. Markus Grabitz looks into this question.
Heat wave keeps grips provinces tightly
Large parts of China have been experiencing extreme temperatures since mid-June, some of which have lasted up to 30 days. The country is suffering under a record-breaking heat wave. It is the worst heat wave since records began in 1961. More than 260 weather stations measured temperatures of over 40 degrees – in some cases, the thermometer rose above 44 degrees. On the Yangtze, Asia’s largest river, there has been 45 percent less rainfall than the average in recent years. Authorities announced the severe drought along the river could last well into September.
The outlook is not positive. The heat wave is expected to continue in some provinces. “The drought in Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi could develop further,” warns Liu Zhiyu, an official of the Ministry of Water Resources. Some provinces are resorting to desperate measures. They want to provide more rain through artificial clouds, which involves shooting chemicals into the clouds with hundreds of rockets. But the cloud cover is too thin in many regions, so the measures are often without success.
Heat deaths and withered crops
The heat wave is affecting millions of people. Large areas of Jiangsu, Anhui, Hubei, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou, Chongqing, Sichuan, and Tibet are affected by severe drought and high temperatures. The extreme weather is affecting health and the elderly in particular. According to surveys by the economic portal Caixin, 82 people suffered heatstroke in June and July, including nine deaths. However, the number of unreported cases is likely to be even higher. In parts of central China and the north of the People’s Republic, the authorities have initiated emergency measures to ensure drinking water supplies for the rural population.