Because They Listened To Al Gore

China has had its hardest winter in decades, with even the southern provinces blanketed in snow, sleet, ice, and fog for the last several weeks. The lengthy winter storms and unusually cold temperatures have brought China to a standstill, as the central government got caught unprepared for it:

Chinese weather experts have admitted that they were not properly prepared for the snow storms that have left hundreds of thousands stranded.
The cold weather seen in recent weeks has been the worst to hit central and southern provinces in decades.
Officials have blamed freak conditions, but on Monday the head of the China’s meteorological office said “we did not make enough preparation”.

The Chinese have facilities for weather-related storm abatement in the north, where they traditionally have hard winters and have built infrastructure to handle it. It’s similar to how the US prepares for winter. In Minnesota, three inches of snow has little effect on traffic and commerce, but in Atlanta it could bring both to a standstill.
China will host the Beijing Olympics this year, and it has spent a fortune building the venues and the infrastructure for the games. It has left them little to spend on major emergencies such as the winter storms have brought. Just when China expected to press for completion on their Olympic public works, they will have to shift funds and attention to clearing roads and re-running power lines to a widespread area of their country.
And once again, we’re left wondering about the entire scenario of global warming. The upper Midwest is having our coldest winter in ten years at the same time as the Chinese have gotten buried in snow and ice. Maybe Beijing didn’t have the necessary preparations because they spent too much time listening to Chicken Littles.