Because the project’s flood control capacity doesn’t work.
Raised by the Communist party elite, Dai Qing has since become one of China’s most critical female voices. Al Jazeera’s spotlight on Probe International Fellow, Dai Qing.
President Xi Jinping’s pledge to prioritize environmental protection and halt new development projects on the Yangtze is a promising turnaround for China’s beleaguered river pulse but don’t hold your breath.
China’s ambitious South-to-North Water Diversion project officially begins flowing next month and the impacts of the costly geo-engineering giant are starting to be felt in the regions tapped to redistribute water to the country’s parched north. “This project from the beginning has been as controversial as the Three Gorges,” says Probe International fellow and leading Chinese environmental journalist, Dai Qing.
The environmental awareness of Chinese people has changed dramatically in the 25 years since her path-breaking book, Yangtze! Yangtze! on the environmental and social effects of China’s Three Gorges Dam, was published. Now, renowned journalist, author, activist and Probe International Fellow and correspondent, Dai Qing, sits down with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for a look back on her experiences as a veteran reporter and the lessons of value she has learned along the way.
(September 10, 2013) On the dreadful night of June 4, 1989, when the students in Tiananmen Square were mowed down by the People’s Liberation Army, the path to another tragedy, the damming of the Yangtze, was laid, says Dai Qing, China’s most famous environmentalist and longtime advocate of freedom of speech.
(May 31, 2013) Agence France-Presse reports that despite problems, China’s Three Gorges dam will be joined by a wave of new hydropower projects over the next decade — mostly spread across the country’s mountainous and earthquake prone southwest. The ambitious plans have left some in China’s growing environmental movement feeling powerless. Probe International Fellow, activist and journalist Dai Qing, who spent time in prison for her opposition to the Three Gorges dam, says the country’s environmentalists “continue to oppose the hydropower plans” but “they will be built no matter what local people say.”
(September 11, 2012) The dispute between Japan and China over Japan’s decision to purchase a number of islands in the East China Sea, also claimed by China and Taiwan, has provoked spirited public protest in China this summer. But territorial disputes with Japan aren’t the only issue driving China’s summer of protest. Large, organized and, at times, violent demonstrations often sparked by environmental concerns – recently the wastewater drainage pipeline from the Japanese-owned Oji Paper plant – have become more frequent as citizens discover strength in numbers as a way to unleash long, pent-up anger at authorities. Japan’s highly regarded Asahi Shimbun newspaper turned to Probe International Fellow and correspondent, Dai Qing, to understand China’s recent wave of anti-Japanese protest and learned that Chinese officials would rather their people march against Japan than take to the streets to demand democracy, human rights and freedom. This interview also explores Dai’s own history as a champion for the environment and human rights in China, her stance against the construction of the massive Three Gorges Dam and ongoing restrictions of her activities by Chinese security: even a surprise party in celebration of her 70th birthday could not go ahead as planned by friends. Dai Qing reflects on such foolishness: “It is truly a waste of money to monitor such a patriot as me,” she insists.
(August 9, 2012) A new book on human security and China features a chapter by Patricia Adams and Dai Qing of Probe International that asks ‘at what cost China’s rise?’. Dai Qing argues, at great cost.
A two-day symposium focused on China’s Three Gorges Dam convened scientists and experts from China and elsewhere for a post-project assessment of the world’s largest hydro dam at the University of California, Berkeley.
(March 27, 2012) Probe International is cosponsoring an upcoming two-day symposium on the impacts of the Three Gorges Dam with the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, at the University of California, Berkeley. The symposium will gather scientists and experts from China, and elsewhere, to discuss emerging problems with the world’s largest electricity-generating plant in order to mitigate harm and to inform future investments in China’s power sector. The symposium will be held on April 13th and 14th, at Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley.
(February 8, 2012) Admissions of trouble at Three Gorges Dam by China’s powerful State Council last spring, left many wondering how the behemoth dam ever got off the drawing board. Now, in a first, behind the scenes, account of raw power politics, Guo Yushan from China’s Transition Institute describes how Three Gorges critics were silenced, and China’s power mandarins maneuvered, to build the world’s largest and most troubled dam. Read this translation by Probe International of the article that went viral on China’s Internet.
(June 11, 2011) Peter Lee takes a poignant and pithy look at the sordid history of the Three Gorges dam. From its questionable inception to the recent drought, Lee examines the government’s methodologies in dealing with critics and problems which come under fire as the Three Gorges faces its toughest challenges to date.
(June 4, 2011) The Washington Post features Probe International Fellow Dai Qing and cites Probe International’s expose of a 30-fold increase in earthquakes caused by China’s Three Gorges Dam.
The latest controversy over the Three Gorges Dam puts the lie to the notion that the advantages of a one-party autocracy trump political gridlock.