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The graph illustrates how much oil was produced and consumed every day in China, over a 24-year period starting from 1982.

Overall, China witnessed an increase in both the production and consumption of oil over the period shown. However, oil consumption rose significantly faster than that of its production.

At the beginning of the period, the figures for oil production and consumption were both around 2 million barrels per day. However, while the rate of oil consumption rose only slightly over the next eight years, to approximately 2 million barrels per day, oil production increased significantly per day to 3 million barrels per day in 1986, then remained constant until 1990.

From 1990 onwards, the amount of oil that was consumed per day saw steady growth to end up at just over 6 million barrels. Meanwhile, the rate of oil production continued to increase from 1990, but only marginally, ending up at approximately 3.5 million barrels per day in 2006, which was significantly less than the countries consumption rate.

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It is true that in some cities, the residents do have the freedom to design their homes or office buildings in their own way because there are limited government regulations on how it should be done. Although some clear benefits of such a trend can be seen, they are, in my view, eclipsed by the considerable drawbacks.

On the one hand, there are many benefits of having less oversight on building design. The first advantage is that it gives scope for creativity. This allows designers or house owners to be more open to new ideas and to freely experiment with new materials and designs, which may eventually lead to the arrival of more innovative and unique buildings. Secondly, the freedom of construction design gives owners an opportunity to fulfil their personal preferences which may vary significantly from person to person. While some may be passionate about a traditional design, others might enjoy a more modern perspective. A building should not be considered a mere shelter but a place where its owner feels a sense of satisfaction and contentment as well. As such, in such circumstances, a loose regulation on the design and construction of buildings is obviously advantageous.

On the other hand, I believe that the disadvantages of this trend are more significant. Firstly, houses and other buildings which are built without any strict or uniform building codes may be vulnerable to serious damage, especially due to natural disasters. A typical example of this are houses in parts of central Vietnam, where there are few regulations from the government on their construction. Due to this lack of government control, whenever a fierce storm strikes the region, thousands of houses lose their roofs, and even worse, are sometimes completely collapsed, leading to both losses of lives and property. Secondly, without strict control on building design, the uniformity of a city can be distorted. This may, in turn, damage the look of the city since the consistency in building design is often accompanied by beauty.

In conclusion, although there are many positive effects of allowing people to freely design their homes or other buildings, it seems to me that these advantages are overshadowed by the drawbacks.

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