At a time when President Xi Jinping is attempting to strengthen his grip on power, the shutdowns exacerbate economic pressures.
At a time when President Xi Jinping is attempting to strengthen his grip on power, factories in southwest China have shut down and a city has implemented rolling blackouts as a result of hydropower reservoirs running low during an intensifying drought.
According to news reports published on Wednesday, businesses in the Sichuan Province, including those that produce solar panels, cement, and urea, shut down or decreased production after receiving orders to ration power for up to five days. That happened after reservoir levels dropped and the demand for electricity for air conditioning rose amid sweltering heat.
A Tuesday directive from the province administration stated, "Leave power for the people."
According to the Sichuan Provincial Department of Economics and Information Technology, water levels at hydroelectric reservoirs in the 94 million-person province of Sichuan have decreased by as much as half this month.
According to the Shanghai news outlet The Paper, the power company in Dazhou, a city in Sichuan with 3.4 million residents, enforced 2 1/2-hour power interruptions this week and extended that Wednesday to three hours. According to the newspaper Securities Times, the provincial capital of Chengdu's office buildings received instructions to turn off their air conditioning.
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