Friday, December 08, 2006

Another resource for environmental issues in China.

I'm starting to gather resources for next semester's class on Chinese environmental issues. The Three Gorges Probe is a Canadian environmental group that was founded after a group of Canadian engineers did a feasibility study for the People's Republic of China on the Three Gorges Dam. Three Gorges Probe was able to use Canadian law to get information out about the dam that the PRC wanted to keep secret.

The Probe website now carries useful news and information about all major water projects in China including the story of the anti-dam protester who was recently executed in secret. Chen Tau was arrested for taking part in violent protests last year against Pubugou dam in Sichuan. Part of a wave of domestic unrest in response to the communist party's top-down approach to modernization. (See for instance here) Check out how Chen's family found out that he had been executed:
Chen Yongzhong, the father of the executed prisoner, learned of his son's fate only when police instructed him to collect the young man's ashes and pay a 50-yuan "bullet fee," the Chinese-language news website reported.
On the bright side, it looks like Chen's execution was rushed in order to get it done before a new law turned control over all capital cases to Supreme People's Court, a move hailed by human rights advocates as a way to avoid just this kind of injustice.

The Three Gorges Probe also has a story up on an earthquake that recently struck the Three Gorges Dam. It is unclear right now whether the new reservoir behind the dam is actually triggering earthquakes or what effect this will have on the dam.


Nik said...

Is it horrible to pray for earthquakes? Thanks for the story, though it's sadder than can be.

Breena Ronan said...

Sounds like an interesting class.