08 July 1999
Misuse leaves China at mercy of floods

DEVASTATING flooding in 1998 in China has re-occured this year – after officials spent funds earmarked for flood defences on building a luxury hotel and playing the stock market.

This year, millions of acres of crops have been flooded in the eastern and central provinces as torrential rain continues to swell the countrys major river, the Yangtze.

Flooding last summer cost an estimated £14.5 billion.

It has since been discovered that Chinese officials misused millions of pounds meant for flood defences, according to report by government auditors.