China's Dams

Foreign Ministry spokesman’s press conference

Liu Jianchao
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC
October 26, 2000

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao answers a question about proposed dam development in the Three Parallel Rivers UNESCO World Heritage site.

Question: According to Xinhua News Agency, China will start oil shipment on the Mekong River in May. So will this replace the oil shipment across the Melacca Strait? Does the Chinese side think that this will lead to safety or environmental issues? …

Answer: This is a question about energy transportation. I suggest you to approach relevant authorities for response.

Question: UNESCO and IUCN today will send an investigation team to Yunnan, to inspect the conservation work of the Three Parallel Rivers (including Nu River) World Heritage site, and to assess the impacts of the proposed dam construction. Does the Chinese government pay the same high level of attention to the possible impacts of dam building on the environment of the World Heritage site and on the local people?

Answer: China insists on “science-based” development, and is devoted to build a harmonious society. The key component of a harmonious society is the harmony between human and nature. That means, while we build our economy, we should also consider the possible impacts of relevant construction on the environment during the process of economic development. We should minimise the impacts on the environment. Chinese government will take measures to protect the environment, and minimise the environmental impacts. For transboundary river, we will also consider the interest of the people in downstream countries. We will not do anything harmful for the downstream countries.

Note: The official

English version [PDF]

omits the questions and answers above.

Original Chinese version


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