• Bloomberg


In Chongqing’s ramshackle neighborhood of Old Street, down by the Yangtze River, shopkeeper Liu cleans up the mess from last month’s floods. She lines up dozens of pairs of sodden, mud-caked shoes on the pavement outside, appealing hopefully to a passerby. “I will sell at any price,” she says.

The pedestrian moves quickly on and Liu is left to rue a curse that besets China almost every year, costing millions of dollars in damage and, in bad years like this one, hundreds of lives — the failure to prevent its rivers from overflowing.

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