(November 19, 2010) The indomitable Dai Qing (戴晴) has chosen to demand answers to uncomfortable questions and bring to account a system that dreams big dreams but harms those it is meant to serve.
Ms. Dai is perhaps best known for her active opposition to the Three Gorges Dam project, which led to her imprisonment for ten months in 1989. Her new work with her long-term partners Toronto-based environmental NGO Probe International is an oral history of Beijing residents’ responses to their city’s water crisis. Rapid development has drastically reduced the capital’s water supply and sparked a massive new project to divert (highly polluted) water from the south to the north. This project would displace several hundred thousand people en route and promises to be at least as problematic and disruptive as the Three Gorges Dam.
Dai Qing, born in 1941, is the daughter of two prominent Communist party members. Growing up in the household of one of the People’s Republic of China’s most powerful army figures has given Dai Qing special insights as both an insider and outsider into the privileged world of the communist elite. She was herself an ardent Communist party member until 1989. She has published widely in Chinese and English and received a large number of distinguished awards and fellowships outside China. Dai Qing has always stressed the vital necessity to tell the truth and this tough, principled stance of hers has earned her both powerful enemies and friends.
Question 1 (0:03) – What is your role in China?
Question 2 (0:50) – Two main problems facing China
Question 3 (1:19) – How should China have handled Liu Xiaobo winning the Nobel Peace Prize?
Howard Tsang, Asia Pacific Memo, November 19, 2010
Categories: Interviews with Dai Qing