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China Warns of More Power, Oil Shortages

China's power shortages show no signs of easing, state media said Wednesday, as the company in charge of the nation's power grid threatened to cut off factories that fail to conserve energy.

China will face growing demands for power, oil and coal in the next few months, said Ma Liqiang, director of the economic operation bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission.

"We still see no sight of change or things getting better," said Ma, quoted by the official China Daily newspaper.

Areas throughout China have suffered shortages as booming demand outstrips supplies, aggravated in major cities by heavy air-conditioning use in an unusually hot summer. The government has tried to discourage consumption by raising prices and ordered thousands of factories to operate at night.

China's energy-hungry southeast - the center of the country's manufacturing industries - suffered brownouts every day in the first six months of the year, said Lu Qizhou, deputy general manager of the State Grid Corp.

The power distributor will enforce brownouts on "industries not in line with the country's economic macro-control policies in a bid to ensure adequate power supply to people's daily lives," Lu said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Ma's deputy director, Zhu Hongren, called for less investment in car, steel and cement factories - industries are overproducing or not operating efficiently.

"Most urgent among all of the economic objectives is to cool down industries which need a lot of electricity," the China Daily quoted Zhu as saying.

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