A World Bank official warned that China's economic development was threatened by its growing reliance on imported oil, escalating pollution and looming water shortages. Speaking at a seminar in Singapore, Yukon Huang, a senior adviser to the bank and the former head of its Beijing office, said such issues of sustainability would be the key challenges of the coming years and "the ones that are most likely to jeopardize its economic success". He said China's rising imports reflected systemic inefficiencies and warned that if it doesn't check waste, "the cost will be unbearable". Huang described dwindling water supplies as China's "Achilles heel" and said water problems would not be averted by pumping water from the south and west to the arid north as China's planners hope.
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