China: 289 Dam Projects in 70 Countries

Grace Mang

Chinese dam builders at work on Three Gorges Dam
We are currently aware of 289 overseas dam projects in which China is involved. For the large part, most of these projects have been proposed and/or built in the past 10 years.

With the help of our fantastic new program assistant, Songqiao Yao, we have updated almost every entry of this dams list to ensure that the information we provide is more accurate and complete. But of course our usual disclaimer applies.

A few statistics:

  • More than half of these projects are large dams, primarily built for hydropower generation.

  • 42% of the projects are in South-east Asia, 30% in Africa, and growing steadily in number are the number of projects in Latin America.

  • Since 2008, when International Rivers published the New Great Walls we have seen the number of overseas Chinese dams grow by one-third (about 100). This growth has continued in spite of the global financial crisis. This number of new dams is also likely to be higher as we have removed many of the projects from the 1980s and 1990s on the basis that they do not really reflect the impact of China's going out policy.

More information: