Just as Simon Winchester warned in The River at the Center of the World, Shanghai’s shoreline is being eaten away, thanks to the Three Gorges Dam:
Geological experts warn Shanghai is rapidly losing its waterfront and if efforts to protect beaches aren’t made soon, the coastline along the Yangtze River will shrink to half its size in 20 years.
Geologists warn that if the sand drops below 250 million tons a year, while sea level continues to rise, the city will lose 89 square kilometres of coastline every year over the next 20 years.
In other news about the great dam, a group of migrant workers displaced by the dam have written a moving appeal to the government protesting its breach of trust in regard to their relocation. It’s very moving, and very sad. As usual, when their representative went to Beijing to ask for justice, guess what happened? Yes indeed, he’ll be in a prison cell for two years.
This letter is an agonizing read. They obviously are being helped by somebody; this eloquent appeal was written by a professional. Will it make any difference?
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.