Publication Date June 29, 2017

Drought in Northern China Is Worst on Record, Officials Say

The Tengger desert in Inner Mongolia. Government efforts to halt the expansion of deserts have included tree-planting projects and restrictions on grazing. Photo: Josh Haner, The New York Times

Officials governing a large area of northern China say their region is suffering from the worst drought on record, leading to crops wilting and farmers and herders growing desperate to get water to farmlands, grasslands, animals and their households.

The drought is affecting the northeastern and eastern areas of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, which is near Beijing.

In recent years, Chinese scientists have attributed extreme weather patterns in China, and especially in northern China, to climate change. The region of Inner Mongolia and its residents have been hit especially hard by wide fluctuations in the weather.

President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders say climate change is an urgent problem that nations must address together, and they have insisted that countries abide by the Paris climate accord, despite President Trump’s announcement this month that the United States would withdraw from the agreement.