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China Works to Ensure Necessities Are Supplied amid Freezing Weather

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China's central government on Wednesday called on local authorities to step up efforts to ensure a stable market supply of daily necessities, such as food and clothing, as freezing weather continues to plague south and southwest China.

The Ministry of Commerce required local government departments to guide companies to increase supplies such as rice, edible oil, meat and vegetables.

It also required local departments to closely watch market changes and release reserves of commodities when necessary, said a statement on its website.

The statement said the government of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality has urged local supermarkets to maintain the prices of 10 types of vegetables that are affordable to the public, while authorities in the rain and snow-battered Guizhou and Hunan provinces guided logistics companies and wholesales markets to take measures to insure supplies.

The Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday also ordered local departments to expand areas for growing vegetables when conditions allow, as agricultural experts were also sent to fields to help farmers save their crops.

The country's meteorological authority forecast Wednesday that over the next three days, heavy snow and icy rain would continue in provinces and municipalities including Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, and Chongqing.

(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2011)

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