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Week of May 16, 2003

Week of June 6, 2003

The U.S. and China This Week

DOMESTIC: Reservoir for Three Gorges Started

After years of construction and controversy, the Three Gorges Dam has started to fill its reservoir. Construction of the dam, which began in the late 1990s, has been plagued by corruption scandals and fears of ecological catastrophe. The reservoir, when filled, will constitute the largest man-made lake in the world, stretching over 250 miles, covering an area along the path of the Yangtze River stretching from Yichang in the east almost to Chongqing in the west. The dam will be used for the generation of massive amounts of hydroelectric power, necessary for China's rapidly expanding energy needs.

Although residents of the areas contiguous to the floodplain have been warned in advance of the rising levels of water, they had continued to plant crops up until several weeks ago and many were seen rushing to salvage them from the rising water. According to reports, the water level has been rising by over 12 feet per day since the sluice gates were closed.



DOMESTIC: China to Build One of the World's Longest Bridges

In another grand infrastructure project, China has begun construction of a 22-mile bridge across Hangzhou Bay. According to state officials, the bridge will be the largest ocean-spanning bridge in the world, connecting the cities of Jiaxing and Cixi, creating a Shanghai-Ningbo corridor, greatly diminishing the travel times between the two commercial centers.

The cost of this project is estimated at 1.4 billion USD and is part of the larger project of creating a transnational highway system, part of which will provide a direct route from Hainan to Heilongjiang






DOMESTIC: China to Begin Adminstrative Budget Trimming

According to news reports, China's new leadership has been advocating plans to eliminate village and county government administration. Such reforms would have tremendous impact on both government organization and spending, as a preponderance of the civil service serves under the country level.

It has also been reported that both president Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have attempted to institute other measures to curb government spending. This includes the planned elimination of numerous bureaucratic procedural rules and the abolishment of various official perquisites.



The U.S. and China This Week
The U.S. and China This Week

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Last updated: 17 January 2001

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