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Severe drought continues to expand in China: official

BEIJING, March 31 — A total of 116 million mu (about 7.73 million hectares) of arable land has been affected by the expanding drought in China as of Tuesday, said Liu Ning, vice minister of water resources.

The drought has left 24.25 million people and 15.84 million farm animals short of water, 80 percent of which are from China's southwestern regions, he said at a press conference here Wednesday.

As of the end of 2008, China had about 1.83 billion mu of arable land. (PNA/Xinhua) LOR/ebp

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