(December 16, 2013) A 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck a mountainous and populous area of China’s Hubei Province today, 100 kilometres from the Three Gorges Dam site. Officials have been quick to reassure the public that the dam has remained intact and is operating normally after the event, which occurred at 1:04 p.m. in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Badong County. Aftershocks and quake-triggered landslides are expected. What more could there be to this story?
Lisa Peryman has worked with Greenpeace Australia and The Wilderness Society (Australia). She studied journalism in New Zealand and book and magazine publishing in Canada. Her background includes reporting and editing for daily newspapers and trade magazines, as well as creative copywriting for broadcast. Lisa is continuing her studies in Canada and currently works with Probe International as an editor and writer.
(November 20, 2013) How did Halloween decorations made by inmates at a notorious Chinese labor camp end up on US store shelves?
(November 18, 2013) China’s “basic dictatorship” system — controversially praised by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau as some sort of green action plan model — has created an environmental crisis for China, says former SNC-Lavalin chairman Gwyn Morgan.
(October 30, 2013) In April 2012, Liu Bai, a retired journalist dedicated to exposing the plight of Three Gorges Dam migrants and the project’s resettlement legacy of shattered lives, set out to discover what had happened to the first group of migrants who were moved from their homes in the ancient town of Dachang, in Wushan County, Chongqing Municipality, and resettled elsewhere around 11 years ago to make way for the world’s largest dam. What Liu Bai did not expect to find at the other end was that the resettlement of these migrants had not stuck! The majority of this first group of migrants had in fact returned home.
(August 20, 2013) The World Bank and Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development have banned Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin from bidding on aid contracts. But that hasn’t deterred the Canadian federal department of Public Works from awarding a lucrative defence contract to a subsidiary of the corruption-plagued SNC-Lavalin company.
(August 9, 2013) The effects of the giant dam’s operations on water flow are ramping up the risks of damage from storm surges in Shanghai, says expert. Meanwhile, China’s flood loss potential sounds warning bells for insurers.
(May 7, 2013) Two new documentaries released this month reveal more horrifying details about China’s notorious re-education through labor (RTL) system. Other recent exposés of systemic human rights abuses in the RTL have led to calls to scrap the long-contested practice entirely. China’s new leadership is reportedly reviewing it.
(March 22, 2013) A new report, exclusive to Probe International, calls for urgent monitoring of China’s large dams in areas prone to seismic hazard. These areas may be at increased risk from dam reservoir-induced seismicity (RIS). Scientists have observed that reservoir impoundment may not only increase the risk of strong earthquakes, particularly in areas already vulnerable to high-intensity seismic activity, but may represent a more pronounced risk in the first few years after a dam is filled.
(March 1, 2013) A new study, published by Probe International, reveals that China’s Three Gorges Dam reservoir has become a cesspool of industrial and urban sewage because of inadequate treatment and the damming of the river. Legal reforms to enforce higher standards and penalties for polluters are the only hope to rein the crisis in.
(February 6, 2013) When Zhao Feihong, an expert on water quality in Beijing, revealed last month that she didn’t drink the city’s tap water herself, and had not for the past 20 years, the news shredded what little public confidence remained in the capital’s drinking water supply. Hasty reassurances from city authorities in an effort to calm renewed concern, only served to heighten suspicion. Many believe that if someone in Zhao’s position, as well as her husband – another water expert and a public official – did not consider Beijing’s tap water fit to drink, why should they?
(February 14, 2013) A dramatic push by China’s new leadership to revive a political passion for large dam projects has ignited concerns for neighbouring countries and environmentalists.
(December 4, 2012) Experts say the tremor that jolted Sichuan Province last weekend is an aftershock of the killer quake that struck the province in 2008, linked to the Zipingpu Dam.
(November 2, 2012) The power of protest in China continues to gain momentum as yet another show of strength in numbers by protesters in Ningbo, an affluent port city of 3.4 million people, has halted a plan to expand petrochemical production in nearby Zhenhai.
(October 26, 2012) The history of government property seizure in China reads like an appalling dystopian fiction. A new film, which debuted in New York on October 28, looks closely at the astonishing but all-too-true stories of individual citizens – survivors of this ongoing battle for property rights – who have been robbed of their homes, their lands, unconscionably beaten, tormented and forced to endure bizarre and cruel new realities as a result of a social-political ideology gone mad and corrupt officials and developers who will stop at nothing in their pursuit of power, privilege and gain.
(October 3, 2012) Wang Like is a Three Gorges Dam migrant who moved thinking it was his duty and honour to do so. Wang and his family, along with so many others, gave up everything for the construction of China’s concrete colossus – an edifice that would later be described as equal parts vanity project and technological marvel – in the belief that it was for a greater good. But on arrival in their new resettlement area, Wang’s family experienced what has become standard for countless Three Gorges Dam migrants: a welcome of open hostility, corruption of resettlement funds, broken promises and incomprehensible ill-treatment – as though he and his fellow migrants were being punished for their sacrifice. Wang’s story is rendered in powerful detail here, in a letter he wrote to a sympathetic journalist, in the hopes his voice would be heard.