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The oil fields outside of Karamaiyi, Xinjiang,China.  Besides agriculture, oil and other mineral extractions are the primary products of the region.  As China growth becomes tied to higher energy consumption and the automobile, developing these new areas has become strategically important.  ..Karamaiyi is located in a desert region and has imported its water by taking 60 percent of the Irtysh River 300 km to the north.  Given this kind of precedent environmentalists are worried that China will use the Illi to supply its continued growth without regard to the downstream implications.
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