China declares ‘war’ on winter

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao visited stranded passengers in the city of Changsha, Reuters reported on Wednesday, as the country wages what state media described as "an all out war" on unusually severe winter weather.

The government has deployed some 460,000 troops to clear snow, Al Jazeera reported, after transport was paralysed across eastern, central and southern provinces and food and energy supplies were pushed to the limit.

"The People’s Liberation Army has ordered its troops to go all out to help those battling the heavy snow," China Daily said.

A bus plunged more than 40 metres from a snowy mountain road in the southwestern province of Guizhou, killing 25, Xinhua news agency reported, the first known major accident caused by the extreme weather.

Some railway officials have refused to give information on severed services, the Beijing News said. "Blocked information is the big enemy of disaster relief," the paper said.

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