Speed on Rails and the Three Gorges Dam Makes News

November 2, 2010

While the Globe’s number one debt-ridden super power talks about building bullet trains and coastal wind farms and doesn’t plan to replace outdated coal burning, polluting power plants, China builds them.

From Yahoo News and the Associated Press comes news of the bullet train from Shanghai to Hangzhou.

Bullet Train from Shanghai to Hangzhou – Mandarin News

However, the big news was the mighty Three Gorges Dam, which holds as much water as Lake Superior in the US. The dam is capable of producing 18 gigawatts of electricity equal to about 40 nuclear power plants.

China is the world’s largest producer of hydroelectricity, followed by Canada, Brazil and the United States. Since no fuel is needed to run a hydroelectric plant, there is little pollution.

Although there was controversy about moving the 1.4 million people who lived in the area behind the Three Gorges Dam, those still waters may save many lives during times of drought and flood.

One example of the controversy comes from a 2007 piece in Time Magazine, which mentions the project has been mired in controversy ever since it was first proposed by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen (1866 -1925), the founding father of China’s republic.

In fact, floods along the Yangtze killed more than 300,000 people during the 20th century but there was no mention of that in the Time piece.

Taking into account the loss of life from floods and the threat of droughts in China, why did the Western media spend so much effort publicizing the controversial resettlement project without mentioning the potential benefits to hundreds of millions of Chinese?


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.