Heavy snow, rain disrupt transport in central, eastern China
A significant snowfall has gripped various regions of central and eastern China since Wednesday, resulting in widespread transport disruptions in the provinces of Hubei, Hunan, and Anhui amidst the annual Spring Festival travel rush. In Anhui Province, more than 95 highway toll stations have denied entry to vehicles due to snowy and freezing conditions, causing inconvenience for travelers during the “chunyun” travel surge, which commenced on January 26 and extends until March 5. As of Sunday morning, both runways at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport were closed due to adverse weather conditions, with an emergency snow and ice removal response initiated and operations expected to resume on Sunday. The airport in Jingzhou, within the same province, has also been closed since Saturday.
China Railway Wuhan Group announced on Sunday its plan to suspend 141 round trips due to widespread snowfall and freezing weather. Simultaneously, the railway authority has mobilized nearly 3,000 employees to conduct snow removal at around 4,000 sets of railroad switches to ensure the smooth functioning of railway tracks. In neighboring Hunan Province, the railway authority implemented speed restrictions on the Chongqing-Xiamen and Zhangjiajie-Jishou-Huaihua high-speed railways, causing delays for some trains. From Sunday to Monday, China Railway Guangzhou Group suspended 20 high-speed train services passing through the province.
China unveiled its “No.1 central document” for 2024 on roadmap for rural revitalization
Chinese authorities on Saturday unveiled the No. 1 Central Document for 2024, outlining the priorities for comprehensively promoting rural revitalization this year. As the first policy statement released by China’s central authorities each year, the document is seen as an indicator of policy priorities.
The document encompasses six parts, including ensuring national food security, forestalling any large-scale relapse into poverty, improving rural industries’ development, strengthening rural construction, enhancing rural governance and strengthening the leadership of the Communist Party of China on work regarding agriculture, rural areas and farmers.
Among the six priorities listed in the No.1 central document is ensuring food security. Specifically, the document called for maintaining grain output of above 1.3 trillion jin (650 million tons) in 2024 through various means, including increasing unit yields. It also called for strengthening technological innovation in agriculture.
Experts said that as the world is grappling with rising geopolitical conflicts and trade protectionism, which affect global food supply chains, ensuring food security has become the top priority for not just China but also many other countries around the world.