China Takes its Future Seriously

August 12, 2010

In China, little is left to chance and the central government takes its job so seriously, many in the West believe the leaders of China are totalitarians and brutal dictators.  In fact, China’s leaders are acting as the collective culture dictates. 

Those in China who speak out against the government are considered aberrations and few have sympathy when they are punished. Confucianism and piety demand that citizens do not publicly challenge the government but, in turn, the government has an obligation to the people to insure a secure and bountiful future. 

Fail in that and the Communists will lose the mandate to rule.

The most critical obligation is water. China has two of the world’s longest rivers—the Yellow and the Yangtze.  However, there is still not enough water in the north.

To solve that challenge, China is building both above and underground pipelines from the south to the north to move water from the Yangtze and the Danjiangkou reservoir in Hubei province.

The most difficult task will be tunneling under earthquake prone mountains as high as five kilometers above sea level.

The South-to-North Water diversion Project in China with an estimated cost of 70 billion dollars is the largest of its kind ever undertaken. Mao Zedong first proposed the project in 1952, and it took 50 years to plan before construction started with completion set for 2050. 

When done, China will divert almost 45 billion cubic meters of water annually to the drier north. Source: Water

See the Shanghai Huangpu River Tour


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. 

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Seven Wonders of China (4/5)

August 11, 2010

Mount Wudang is home to eight palaces, seventy-two temples in caves, thirty-nine bridges, thirty-six nunneries, twelve pavilions, and two temples.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1643 AD), Mt. Wudang was known as a grand spectacle of all ages and is one of the best examples of ancient-religious architecture anywhere.

The Golden Hall, a temple built on Mt. Wudang in the 15th century is the largest copper building in China. The ninety-ton structure was plated in Gold in Beijing before being moved to the mountain.

6. Shibaozhai  (Precious Stone Fortress)

Near the banks of China’s Yangtze River, a twelve story, five-hundred year-old Buddhist temple made of wood clings to a cliff without the support of a single nail.  Before the temple was built, devout Buddhists climbed the cliff risking their lives to worship the Buddhist statutes on the mountain.  The temple was built to resist high winds and remedy this problem.

To protect and save the temple against rising water due to construction of China’s Three Gorges Dam, the Chinese government had a radical and ambitious solution.

See Li River Cruise or return to The Seven Wonders of China – Part 3


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine SagaWhen you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China’s Water Woes

June 16, 2010

A man or woman can survive for weeks without food but only days without water. Knowing that, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Tibet will stay in China for some time and water is the reason.

The Yellow River and Yangtze start in Tibet serving more than a third of China’s population. It’s possible that Mao realized the importance of water from Tibet when he sent 40,000 PRC troops into Tibet to reoccupy the former troublesome province/tributary that at the British Empire’s urging broke from China in 1913.

Tibet has an area of about 1.3 million square kilometers (about 5 million square miles) and it is estimated that there are less than 3 million people living in Tibet. China, on the other hand, serves 1.3 billion people, so who benefits the most from water that starts its journey in Tibet?

Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, said, “At least 500 million people in Asia and 250 million people in China are at risk from declining glacial flows on the Tibetan Plateau.” Source: Circle of Blue Waternews

If Tibet’s water were in the hands of anyone else like a free Tibet that might favor other nations over China, China’s future would be dim at best and dire in a worst-case scenario. As it is, China is one of the earth’s driest areas and the challenge to supply 1.3 billion people with water is a daunting task. In fact, China is in a race with disaster and the finish line will be reached in a few decades.

In 1999, Wen Jiabao, a deputy prime minister, warned of looming water shortages. When he became prime minister, he promised to provide clean water for the people. Today, water and waste pollution is the single most serious issue facing China.

However, China has a large and cumbersome bureaucracy.  Different ministries compete with each other meaning little cooperation, which has led to a growing crisis that must be dealt with for China to avoid the suffering, chaos and anarchy that plagued the nation between 1835 and 1950. See China, The Roots of Madness

While replacing thousands of older, coal-burning power plants with cleaner technologies, building more hydroelectric dams, and constructing nuclear reactors, China is also adding desalinations plants to ease the growing water crises. In 2005, a desalination facility south of Shanghai started producing about 375,000 gallons of fresh water an hour, with a goal to build more plants and produce 250 million gallons of water per day by 2010. Source: Environmental News Network

In fact, to achieve this, China contracted with IDE Technologies in Kadima, Israel to build four new desalination units and the first will go on line near Beijing in 2010. These plants are designed to provide desalinated seawater for a power plant’s steam boilers as well as drinking water for local residents. Source: Water and

According the Global Water Intelligence and the International Desalination Association, as of June 30, 2008, China was ranked 7th among the top ten desalination countries on the planet and that was before the IDE contract. Source: Water Webster

It doesn’t help China’s growing water shortage when mineral resources and a majority of its arable land exist where water is scarcest. Pollution and dealing with human waste are other challenges. Source:


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. 

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