Author Archives

Dai Qing

Probe International Fellow, activist and journalist Dai Qing has been speaking out against the Three Gorges Dam since the 1980s. She published Yangtze! Yangtze! in 1989, a book of essays highlighting the concerns about the environmental and social effects of the dam, followed by The River Dragon has Come in 1998. Though Dai Qing faces constant harassment by Chinese authorities and is forbidden to publish in China, she has chosen to remain in Beijing where she continues to fight for freedom of the press, government accountability, and an open debate over the Three Gorges dam. She has been honoured with Fellowships from Harvard, Columbia, and the Australian National University, with the International PEN Award for Freedom, and the Goldman Environmental Prize.

Relaxing China’s one-child policy

“No government should regulate birth, period.” Probe International Fellow and correspondent, Dai Qing, discusses China’s population-control policies over the years in this opinion piece for The New York Times.

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Never-ending, hidden rules

Famed Chinese journalist and environmentalist Dai Qing, on her 70th birthday, reflects on the words of Confucius, who said: “When you’re 70, do as you please, as long as it doesn’t break the rules.” Dai, however, decides she was born 2,500 years too late. “I embody the cultural atmosphere of the ‘People’s Republic,'” she says. “With all its hidden rules.”

Dai Qing: On The Completion of the Three Gorges Project

(April 7, 2011) Dai Qing, Chinese investigative journalist and Probe International Fellow, delivered the following speech about the Three Gorges Dam project in November 2010 while on a speaking tour in British Columbia, Canada. In her address, she reports that the problems predicted by dam critics published in her books, “Yangtze! Yangtze!” and “The River Dragon Has Come!,” are now coming true.

Dai Qing: Liu Xia’s Grand List

(November 5, 2010) Statement by dissident writer Dai Qing, calling on Chinese officials to release Liu Xiaobo and announcing that she will attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, even as the Chinese government pursues a crackdown on the country’s critics and activists.

Dai Qing: People’s power

(October 14, 2010) Dai Qing, one of China’s foremost writers, recently wrote in Radio Free Asia about a dinner held in honour of Xie Chaoping, the author of “The Great Relocation” who was detained in August at his Beijing home on charges of “illegal activities” and held until September 17 in a Shaanxi Province jail.

The expensive Three Gorges flood control project

(August 19, 2010) As the Chinese people fret these days about our unusual weather, and about floods in the north and south, and in the Yangtze valley in particular, a Web posting attracted widespread attention. Using material from the official media, such as Xinhua and CCTV, and highlighting their headlines in particular, the authors accused the Three Gorges project authority of “boasting.”

Huang Wanli’s predictions for the Three Gorges come to pass

(June 12, 2010) Huang Wanli, renowned hydraulics engineer and Tsinghua University lecturer, first voiced his opposition to the large-scale damming of rivers by opposing the construction of the Sanmenxia dam in 1957. In the 1980s he became a vocal opponent of the Three Gorges project and contributed to Yangtze! Yangtze!, the important critique of the dam compiled by China’s celebrated investigative journalist, Dai Qing. Now, as the Three Gorges dam is beset by monumental operational problems, Huang Wanli’s prescient analysis helps explain why it was a mistake to build the biggest dam in the world. Read his 1993 interview with Dai Qing.