Three Gorges Probe

It’s ecology vs economy, China warns

The Australian
August 1, 1999

SEPA vice-minister Zhu Guangyao said the Chinese government would ‘make very substantial changes to the original development process’ for the Nu River dam project.

[Article excerpt] … [The Vice-Minister for the State Environment Protection Administration, Zhu Guangyao,] acknowledged overseas worry. "The international community has been paying some concern to ecological problems about hydro-electric construction in China," he said, especially the dams for the Three Gorges project and the Nujiang River in Yunnan province. He said the Government would "make very substantial changes to the original development process" for the Nujiang dam project. "The Chinese Government pays great attention to the role played by environmental non-government organisations, which can push government to solve these problems," Mr Zhu said. "We listen carefully to their opinions … and will work to strengthen information exchange. When we have to face tasks impossible for us to achieve, we will ask (the environment groups) to help us." Mr Zhu said he hoped it would be possible to legislate to safeguard such organisations and their interests in China. The organisations were needed to criticise officials who "are even working against the environmental laws". "In short, we have achieved great results from environmental protection. But the current situation allows no optimism. There’s a long way to go."

Categories: Three Gorges Probe

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