The Three Gorges Dam was designed to tame China’s longest river. But this summer’s record rains reveal its limited ability to control floods.
On the 30th anniversary of Beijing’s June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square massacre, Probe International Fellow, environmental activist and China’s best-known investigative journalist, Dai Qing, delves deeper into the events leading up to and following the shocking and brutal crackdown that rocked a country on the brink of massive political reform and social change. A book that works as a retrospective documentary in affect, Deng Xiaoping in 1989 challenges the black-and-white dichotomies of “autocracy vs. democracy” and “government vs. students,” including correspondence from military generals who opposed the crackdown, soldiers’ experiences and eyewitness accounts of the “Tank Man,” the unidentified protester who stared down a column of tanks rolling through Tiananmen Square the morning after troops had opened fire on thousands of civilians – an iconic image of resistance since immortalized as a global symbol of pro-democracy protest.
Experts fear Lintao’s dry-up is a sign of things to come. Probe International fellow and noted Chinese environmental journalist, Dai Qing, says China’s water scarcity and toxicity is the greatest danger facing her country today.
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.
“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.
China orders the closure of small plants in 10 polluting industries and a curb on the tapping of aquifers in an effort to reign in contamination of its water supply. Probe International Fellow, activist and journalist Dai Qing is quoted for this article by the Financial Times.
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.
Read in full Patricia Adams’ closing address to the International Symposium on China’s Environmental Crisis: Is There a Way Out? A resounding “Yes!” says Ms. Adams. “Give power to the people”.
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.
(September 11, 2012) China’s privileged remain privileged even in prison. Probe International’s Dai Qing, jailed for six months after taking part in the 1989 Tiananmen movement, though she was never formally charged, recalls feeling “pleasantly surprised” when the metal-wrapped door opened to her cell in the 1990s.
(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.