Radio Free Asia
November 16, 2000
By 2008, more than 6,000 households along the Tarim River in Xinjiang will have been resettled and cultivation forbidden on the banks of the depleted waterway.
Chinese authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang are relocating hundreds of ethnic minority farming families along the dwindling Tarim River. And the families blame major Han Chinese farming and industrial complexes for depleting upstream waters. By 2008, more than 6,000 households along the river will have been resettled and cultivation forbidden along the river banks, in an attempt to save 60 million cubic meters (16 billion gallons) of water, an official with the Tarim River Valley Administration told local media. “There is no water in the Tarim River now,” one farmer along the river told RFA’s Uyghur service. “It happened recently. Some time ago for example, the environment was so much better.” … Farmers pointed to intensive irrigation and farming methods in the upper reaches of the 1,321-km river, carried out by China’s quasi-military Xinjiang Construction and Production Corps.