China’s economy, already struggling, will be hit by the destructive floods that occurred in Beijing and nearby provinces this month. This leaves local and regional authorities with limited resources.
The failure to implement flood control measures has damaged the reputation of the United States as a superpower in the construction of high-quality highways, railroads and ports throughout the world.
It is hard to estimate the extent of damage from floods caused by Typhoons Doksuri or Kanu because local authorities have not reported the situation in a timely manner.
In a Wednesday press conference, Beijing officials said that 1,29 million people were affected. 59,000 houses had been destroyed, and 147,000 others severely damaged. 33 people died and 18 others were still missing.
Ten people were killed, 18 missing and over a million affected, according to the latest report available from Hebei Province on 5 August. Statistics released by Baoding’s Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters show that the economic losses were nearly $2.35 Billion.
Hebei, Heilongjiang, and Jilin Provinces, in the Northeast, Zhuozhou, and Bazhou have yet to release damage data.
China has a tendency to underestimate damage when such incidents occur.
During a State Council Meeting on 8 August, Premier Li Qiang instructed all departments and regions to prioritise flood prevention and control efforts. This was to help “minimize the number of casualties… and to ensure that the people affected are provided with the basics of life,” reported the official news agency Xinhua.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has not specified how much it intends to spend for reconstruction.
Finance and Agriculture and Rural Affairs, on 8 August, allocated approximately $101 Million in “agricultural disaster prevention and assistance funds” to help affected provinces and areas.
The Ministry of Finance announced on August 4 that $62.2 Million in Central Fiscal Water Conservancy Disaster Relief Funds would be released to repair dams damaged and other water conservation facilities in Beijing Tianjin Hebei.
He-Ling Shi is an associate professor of Monash University, Melbourne.
Shi said that the Chinese government did not have enough money to invest for relief and reconstruction.
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