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A masked man stands on a seawall in the port city of Tianjin, in north-east China. Much of the port has been built on reclaimed land and now serves as one of China's busiest maritime hubs. According to an article in the South China Morning Post, "Artificial seawalls now stretch along some 60 per cent of the mainland's coastline...destroying or severely disrupting the natural function of lush wetland, much of which is earmarked for reclamation. This increases pollution that threatens water bird populations, degrades inshore and oceanic environments, and leaves coastal populations more vulnerable to extreme weather events such as typhoons." As sea levels are predicted to rise in northern China, sea walls will be the first line of defence for the people in Tianjin, however severe storm surges have the potential to threaten these defences. Behind the sea walls, land subsidence in areas of the city is also adding to the threat of flooding, leading experts to warn of lingering dangers to the city's 11,000,000 residents.

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