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Thirsty Beijing to cap population at 23 mln in 2020: official

2015-03-07 06:59 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

Beijing aims at keeping its population under 23 million in 2020 as it is confronted with water and other resource shortages, said a senior official of the Beijing municipal government.[Special coverage]

With a population of 21.52 million people last year, the capital has failed to meet the target set in 2005 to cap its 2020 population at 18 million, Beijing vice mayor Li Shixiang said during the ongoing two annual sessions of the country's top legislature and top political advisory body.

"Beijing is facing severe water shortage, as it is short of 1.5 billion cubic meters of water every year," said Li, adding that the south-to-north water diversion project cannot solve the whole problem.

"Beijing cannot solve the problem by itself, and a solution can only be worked out with a plan for the wider areas around Beijing. The coordinated development in Beijing and neighboring Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province is imperative," he stressed.

Beijing relies on outside resources and food supplies to keep the city running, as about 70 percent of the electricity, 40 percent of the gasoline, 98 percent of the coal, all the natural gas, 70 percent of the vegetables, 68 percent of the pork, and 46 percent of the milk consumed in the city coming from outside localities, he noted.

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