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China In-Focus — Asian giant vows to adapt better to climate change; Strike disrupts chip shipment to China

BEIJING: China’s economy and society are at increasing risk from climate change and the country needs to improve adaptation mechanisms and monitoring capabilities at every level of government, according to a new policy document.

“Climate change has already brought serious adverse impacts to China’s natural ecological system, and has continued to spread and penetrate into (the) economy and society,” the government said in its national climate change adaptation strategy published late on Monday.

Climate change was not only creating long-term challenges but also made China more vulnerable to “sudden and extreme” events. Transmissible diseases, pests, and extreme weather were also an increasing danger to public health, the document said.

Vegetation belts have also shifted northwards, and China needs to take action to “optimize” its farming and switch to higher-yield and more stress-resistant crops, it added

The document said the government would modernize its climate-related disaster prevention systems and reduce the vulnerability of the economy as well as its natural ecosystems.

China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, has promised to become carbon neutral by 2060.

Strike disrupts shipment of key chipmaking material to China

A week-long strike by truck drivers in South Korea has disrupted shipments to China of a key material used in the production of semiconductors, the Korean International Trade Association said on Tuesday.

It is the first concrete sign that the week-long strike is impacting the global supply chain of chip production, having already cost South Korean industrial sectors more than $1.2 billion in lost production and unfilled deliveries. 

KITA said a Korean company that produces isopropyl alcohol, a raw material for cleaning chip wafers, is facing complications in shipping to a Chinese company that in turn supplies wafers to chipmakers.

KITA said in a statement that about 90 tons, or a week’s worth of shipments have been delayed.

China unveil steps to ease fiscal strains on local governments

China’s cabinet unveiled some steps on Monday to improve the allocation of resources among local governments to help ease their growing fiscal strains and debt risks, amid efforts to support the slowing economy.

In a document on fiscal reform below the provincial level, the State Council laid out steps to divide fiscal revenues and spending obligations among local governments, and transfer payments allocations.

China has in recent years taken measures to shore up finances of debt-laden local governments, partly via increased transfer payments from the central government.

But local governments still faced problems such as “unreasonable division” of fiscal revenues and spending responsibilities, the cabinet said.

The cabinet has pledged to increase annual tax cuts to 2.64 trillion yuan ($392.09 billion), from an initial 2.5 trillion yuan, in a bid to support the slowing economy.

The central government would boost its transfer payments to local governments to nearly 9.8 trillion yuan this year to help offset any hit on local revenues, the finance ministry has said.

(With input from Reuters)

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