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The Three Gorges Dam is an Absolute Menace to the People of China.

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Introduction

The Three Gorges Dam is an Absolute Menace to the People of China Coined by CNN's Kennedy as "China's biggest construction project since the Great Wall", the Three Gorges Dam raises a lot of unanswered questions for generations of Chinese to come. Situated along The Yangtze River - one of the longest rivers in the world which flows 3900 miles from Tibetan plateau to the East China Sea (Chetham 2) - The Three Gorges Dam would be the largest and most powerful dam in the world. "It will stretch two kilometers across the Yangtze River, stand 185 meters high, and create a 600-kilometer lake behind it" (Kennedy). Yet, just as much as the massive construction began in 1994, destruction of large scales has as well been underway. Nineteen cities and more than 300 towns would be sunken, with over one million people needing to relocate and resettle in a new homeland by 2009 (Dai, et al 4-6), in the process destroying the natural scenery and numerous historical monuments that sheltered and nurtured the growth of Chinese in the Yangtze region. Having said that, The Three Gorges Dam is arguably the greatest menace for the people of China in the modern era, owing to three aspects: the environmental consequences it produces, the social unrest that it brings, and the cultural disaster that it necessitates. ...read more.

Middle

Just as much as their extinction is irreversible, gone forever will be many of the beautiful landscapes and scenery that mark the Yangtze River Basin. These damages to the natural environment means that, our later generations would be inevitably left with no choice about it at all. To a certain extent, the present Chinese authorities will disadvantage our later generations because there will not be any chance for them to witness and experience the beauty of the natural scenery. The social impacts that the dam brings to the people in the basin area are another aspect that mulls the construction. The building process, which will inundate more than 300 towns, will see over one million people resettling to new homelands at higher altitudes as assigned by the government. These "reservoir refugees" are the biggest losers in this governmental construction project as a report published by International Rivers Network has shown that the displaced residents are "frequently poor and powerless... generally worse off after the resettlement and often are left economically and emotionally devastated." The resettled are provided with little compensations. Many of these residents actually do not know how much they will get or will they even get the money at all as a result of widespread corruption within municipal officials. ...read more.

Conclusion

The actual and potential losses of these antiquities and sites are huge in terms of modern-day money values, however, what is at stake here is not only large volumes of economy but much more importantly, the cultural and historical heritage of over 4,000 years. It would be a crime for any civilization in any construction project to compromise such a huge volume of its relics, let alone in a country which hosts one of the longest histories in mankind. These losses will surely be remembered, in some if not all sectors, as a major catastrophe in the history of China. To sum up, for all the good initiatives that the Three Gorges Dam promises, it remains to be seen how the environmental, social and cultural damages in the Yangtze region could be offset - it is highly disputable whether the economic and developmental benefits of the construction outweigh the costs it requires. The Three Gorges Dam is by any means a menace to China's environment, societies, and cultures. To date, the Great Wall is one of only a few projects in the history of mass construction that has the effects and impacts as profound and lasting to a nation as the Three Gorges Dam. This evokes a skepticism that it is essential for this nation to stride forward, and for its leaders to learn their lessons, on the pains and sufferings of its people. ...read more.

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