Video Duration 25 minutes 10 seconds
From: Inside Story

Will China change its policy on dams?

Seasonal rains are common in China, but this year’s flooding has been exceptional and early.

It has been described as a once-in-a-generation event.

Floods have swamped large parts of southern and central China after the worst torrential rains in decades. Many people are dead or missing. Whole villages are inundated and millions of people displaced.

The economic losses in dollars are believed to be in the billions. Nearly two months of intense rains have swelled 433 rivers – with water in some reaching record levels.

Chinese authorities have raised flood alerts and deployed soldiers to evacuate people and shore up levees.

Some environmentalists blame climate change. Others are raising concerns about the country’s dams – including the Three Gorges, which has been struggling with extreme flows of water. The dam was once a source of great national pride.

But what effects do such megaprojects have on people and the environment?

Presenter: Laura Kyle


Dan Wang – analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Access China Service

Peter McCawley – associate professor at the Australian National University; author of Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific