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The Food–Energy–Water Nexus: An Integrated Approach to Understanding China’s Resource Challenges

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China’s rapidly growing economy is very quickly testing the limits of its resource constraints. While China is home to a quarter of the world’s population, it is endowed with disproportionately less arable land, oil, and water. Such natural resources are vital to any nation’s ability to be self-sufficient, but China’s predicament is especially dire not only because of its large population, but also its rapid urbanization and climate change, both of which will exert more intensive demands on food, energy, and water supply. Yet, other than recognizing that water is essential for agriculture, the discussion of each resource constraint is often conducted in isolation, without paying heed to the inter-linkages of food, energy and water systems.

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