London, Nov 22 : A three-year survey has revealed that over a third of China's land is being scoured by erosion, which is putting its crops and water supplies at risk.
According to a report in New Scientist, China's bio-environment security research team has compiled the report.
It indicates that soil is being washed and blown away not only in remote rural areas, but near mines, factories and even in cities.
The team found that since 2000, erosion has cost China 200 billion yuan (29 billion US dollars) in economic losses.
Each year, some 4.5 billion tonnes of soil are lost, threatening the country's ability to feed itself.
If erosion continues at this rate, harvests in China's north-eastern breadbasket could fall by 40 percent in 50 years.
The Chinese findings tie into another report published this week: the US National Intelligence Council review, which is issued every four years.
According to this year's report, the world could see the return of battles over resources - raising the possibility of resource conflict between China and India.
"China has a more dire situation than India, Japan, the United States, Australia and many other countries suffering from soil erosion," according to China's bio-environment security research team.
Beijing has long been worried about the desertification of its northern grasslands, and scaled back logging after rain rushing down denuded mountainsides caused massive flooding along the Yangtze in the late 1990s.
But around 1.6 million square kilometers of the country's surface is being degraded by water erosion, with almost every river basin affected. Another 2 million square kilometres are under attack from wind.