The Three Gorges Dam project is hailed as a wonder by the Chinese regime, yet at the same time it's widely criticized for damaging the environment, submerging historical sites and forcing residents to re-locate. Now the company behind the project is planning four more dams on the Yangzi river, with work on the first two already underway.
The operator of China's Three Gorges Dam, the China Three Gorges Dam Corporation, is planning four more hydroelectric dams on the upper reaches of the Yangzi river. The new dams will generate a total of 43 gigawatts of electricity—twice what the current dam produces.
Construction started on the original Three Gorges Dam in 1993 and it started generating power in 2008. The project cost over 22-billion U.S. dollars.
Although the Chinese regime hails the dam as a wonder of the world, critics point out that the project forced 1.5-million people to re-locate and left countless historical sites in the Three Gorges submerged under water. In addition, experts have warned of the potential for mudslides and other geological problems due to the weight of the massive amount of water in the dam's reservoir.
Like the original Three Gorges Dam, plans for new dams have drawn criticism from environmentalists in China such as Yang Yong. Yang warns of several problems the new dams could lead to.
[Yang Yong, Environmentalist]: "The danger due to the geology is very high, the geology on the section of the river where the hydro electric stations are located is extremely weak. The second overall characteristic is that they all have the issue of relocation of people. The third issue is the influence on the ecological environment, including changing the climate."
Even the Chinese regime admitted a month ago that the original Three Gorges Dam has lead to a host of problems that need to be urgently addressed.
But the China Three Gorges Dam Corporation defends the current and future dams. They claim on their website, their projects have established "A new ecological culture with a target of striving for man to live in harmony with nature." They also claim to have improved the lives of those who had to re-locate. However, reports suggest that many of those who re-located were left with no way to earn a living.
The first of the four new dams are planed to be completed in 2015, and all four are due to run by 2020. Ben Hedges