China's Three Gorges Dam

The massive engineering project has permanently altered the country's landscape while forcing 700,000 people to relocate.
November 5, 2003, 1pm PST | David Gest
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"In the most ambitious hydro-engineering project ever undertaken, [China's leaders] started to dam up the Yangtze, the world's third largest river, just downstream from the Three Gorges..." The goals of the project are "the prevention of the devastating Yangtze basin floods, which have killed millions of people, and the hydro-generation of 18,200 megawatts of electricity, supplying a tenth of China's needs..." However, the dam "has become virtually synonymous with corruption, secrecy, financial incompetence and a leadership that refuses to allow its people's wishes to impede the realisation of ambitious and lucrative state plans." There are also serious environmental concerns; near the dam, "polluting industries are tolerated as long as they generate profits." Despite all of this, the majority of nearby residents seem to support the project and their replacement housing.

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Friday, October 14, 2005 in The Guardian Unlimited
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