A UN audit of billions in aid money earmarked for starving Somalis remains largely unaccounted for due to violence and corruption in a country caught between Islamists and a kleptocractic government.
Images taken by Chinese geologist and environmentalist Fan Xiao during trips to the Three Gorges Dam reservoir area in 2012 and 2013, portray the dramatic changes that have taken place since the dam’s construction more than 20 years ago.
Astonishing changes in the life and environment of Chongqing: 20 years after the construction of the Three Gorges Dam: Fan Xiao
Twenty years after the completion of China’s monumental Three Gorges Dam, a new study by Chinese geologist Fan Xiao finds the mega-project’s impacts on his hometown of Chongqing, some 600 kilometres upstream, have been dramatic. Lost in the dam’s grand scale are the harsh consequences borne by the region’s environment and economy; its after-effects are felt most intensely by the individuals and communities struggling to adapt in the immense shadow of China’s largest public works effort since the Great Wall.
Why did Beijing downplay a “historic” climate change pact with the U.S.? Is it China’s famed reserve? Or is it to keep a lid on citizens’ post-summit APEC blues?
China’s various restrictions and outright bans to ensure clearer skies over Beijing for APEC succeeded to such an extent a new phrase entered the country’s Internet lexicon — “APEC blue”. Meanwhile, smog the government’s strict clean-up measures couldn’t prevent was contained by a data shutdown that blocked the city’s pollution readings.
Beijing-based media group, Caixin, reports on Chinese geologist Fan Xiao’s research supporting a link between a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in China’s Yunnan Province in early August and the filling of dam reservoirs in the area. Several Probe International studies are cited.
Improving navigation conditions and increasing shipping capacity through the Three Gorges area along China’s famed Yangtze River was one of the chief reasons cited in favour of moving the project forward. Bottlenecks and shipping delays have become routine from the get-go, however, despite construction of the largest shiplock in the world to help ease hold-ups.
Pan Haixia, lawyer and the wife of economic scholar and influential think tank founder, Guo Yushan, posted a letter online that she wrote to her husband after he was taken from their suburban Beijing home by police officers on October 9, at around 2 a.m., on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” — a pretext used to silence China’s growing community of rights activists. Conflicted by the danger Guo’s activism brought to their doorstep, Pan’s heartrending words to Guo, to whom she wasn’t able to say ‘goodbye’, powerfully relate the torment activists and their families endure as targets of political persecution in China.
Another major earthquake has struck China’s Yunnan Province. Close to the epicenter of the earthquake are a number of hydropower dams. We asked Chinese geologist Fan Xiao: “Is there a link?”
Is China’s hydropower safe? Bloomberg’s Adam Minter cites Probe International’s investigations into the link between China’s dam-building and the surge in earthquakes.
The World Bank bars China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG), from its projects for three years for misconduct in Africa and Southeast Asia. South China Morning Post reports.
Geologists predict more frequent catastrophes in China’s Three Gorges Dam region, after landslides wipe out a hydropower plant. Fan Xiao and Yang Yong, the authors of several reports for Probe International, speak to thethirdpole.net about a disaster-prone region made more perilous by intensive hydropower development and call for new risk assessments to be carried out.
Read in full Patricia Adams’ closing address to the International Symposium on China’s Environmental Crisis: Is There a Way Out? A resounding “Yes!” says Ms. Adams. “Give power to the people”.
Zeng Jinyan, the wife of Hu Jia, one of China’s best-known human rights activists, shares her personal experience of the high cost of political expression in China.
Analysis of rough data by Chinese geologist Fan Xiao, cited by the prominent scientific journal Nature, connects heightened seismic activity to August’s Ludian earthquake.