China's Dams

Fog on the Nu River

Liu Jianqiang, China Dialogue

February 28, 2007

The proposed construction of a dam and hydroelectric plant on southwest China’s Nu River has sparked one of the country’s most heated environmental debates.

But the matter has also become shrouded in a cloud of obfuscation and untruth; it is the least transparent of all China’s large-scale projects. The controversy at the Nu River may have an impact on the lives of tens of thousands of people, on a large number of institutions √ê and also on China’s national and wider societal interests. It seems to reflect the difficulties and hopes of modern China’s development. I became concerned about the Nu River, and on New Year’s Day, 2006, I visited the region, hoping to find the underlying truth. I brought with me photographs of two people who were taken by officials to a meeting in Beijing about the proposed dam. Described as “representatives” of the half million people in the area, they supported the dam. “We want the power plant to be built; we want it to improve our lives,” they had said. … However, it was never explained how they were authorised to represent the local people. … Read the full story.

Categories: China's Dams

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