A dam in Yunnan

Jim Yardley of the NYT has a mammoth article on the Chinese government’s breaking its own laws to push through its plans to dam the Nu river in Yunnan province. This time, there’s a lot of pushback from peasants, intellectuals, environmentalists and celebrities, and if the government backs down due to public participation it will definitely be a landmark. It’s a great article, with the usual cast of characters: the laws that are ignored, the greedy officials in bed with state-owned enterprises, the courageous activists, the media blackout, the peasants in tears as the government threatens to wipe out their livelihoods, and the glimmer of hope — maybe this time the people will triumph and a bad project will be canned. If it isn’t, it will be a real tragedy. Another one.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Wow. this seems like, and I don’t intend the pun, a real watershed event. If the Nu River dam project can be stopped, I’ll feel some real hope for China’s future. If not…

Well, it’s another in a long list of very depressing signals.

December 27, 2005 @ 1:03 am | Comment

Is there some way for Thailand to exert some pressure to stop the project? The other countries on the lower Salween, Laos and Myanmar, are unlikely to do so and do not have enough economic clout to influence the Chinese government.

December 27, 2005 @ 11:37 am | Comment

There is or was a plan for damming the next river over as well.


January 1, 2006 @ 7:57 am | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.