China's Global Role

Children of the Salween River

Children by the Salween River in Thailand, International Day of Action for Rivers 2012
Children by the Salween River in Thailand, International Day of Action for Rivers 2012 Hundreds of kilometers downstream from where I was this time last year, on this International Day of Action for Rivers it became clear to me that a major reason why communities in Burma and Thailand are opposed to dam building on the Salween River is because of their children. Half of those gathered on March 14 along the Salween's banks in a small village in Thailand were kids. Dressed in traditional attire, they danced and sang for an audience of over 200 villagers, artists, activists, journalists, and e

The New Great Walls: Stories of China's Dams from Three Gorges to the Horn of Africa

Saturday, April 14, 2012
Join us for a Sunday afternoon mixer, film screening and unique opportunity to hear from two generations of river and human rights activists on a rare visit to California from their homelands in China and Kenya. Where: Fort Mason Center, Bldg. C, Room 260, San Francisco When: Sunday, April 15. Doors open at 1:00 pm. Program begins promptly at 1:15 pm. Cost: $20 each; Sweets and drinks provided.

China: 289 Dam Projects in 70 Countries

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 a

A Lesson Dam Lobby Looks Set to Ignore

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Originally published in South China Morning Post (sub req'd) Republished at Halt to construction of a barrage in Myanmar should be an eye-opener for its Chinese builders, but it's unlikely to give dam boosters pause for thought  China's growing ambition to tap into the latent power of international rivers hit a major snag when one of its largest hydropower projects abroad was unexpectedly halted in Myanmar late last month. The suspension of the Myitsone dam project on the Irrawaddy River was seen as a rare victory in a nation long ruled by an authoritarian milit

Sinohydro warns it is vulnerable to risk overseas

Originally published in the South China Morning Post Sinohydro Group, which lists in Shanghai today, faces growing political and financial risks with its rapidly increasing international business. The Chinese state-owned enterprise is the world's biggest dam builder, having built two-thirds of the country's dams - and half of the world's. It has continuing and completed projects in over 50 countries. Sinohydro will issue three billion A shares at 4.50 yuan each, raising 13.5 billion yuan (HK$16.37 billion) from its Shanghai offer, the company has said. The funds raised will be 22

A Turning Point for Chinese Dam Builders

What was destined to be Southeast Asia's biggest hydropower dam, the $3.6 billion Myitsone Dam Project on the headwaters of the Irrawaddy River, has been stopped by the "people's will." On September 30th, the President of Burma, Thein Sein told his Parliament that he had suspended the Chinese developed project because of public concerns of the devastating effects of the dam on the Irrawaddy River. Behind the ScenesThe suspension of the Myitsone Dam was the result of a long and sustained campaign by Burma's civil society. While my exposure to Myitsone dam began in late 2010 when local envir

Lessons from Myitsone Dam in Burma

Myitsone Protest (courtesy of the BBC)
Myitsone Protest (courtesy of the BBC) The success of Burma's civil society groups in halting the Myitsone Dam may come as a surprise to many, but it is a product of the depth and strength of opposition to the project. It is also an indication that a different type of Burmese government is now in charge. The Burmese government's decision to suspend the controversial project on the headwaters of the Irrawaddy also highlights the serious risks of not engaging with civil society critics. The Myitsone Dam was one of the first projects to really "get under my skin" here at I

Myitsone Dam Suspension a Breakthrough for Burma’s Civil Society

Myitsone Dam site
Friday, September 30, 2011
For immediate release Myitsone Dam site In a stunning move, Burma’s President today announced that the Myitsone Dam on the Irrawaddy River would be halted “to respect the will of the people.” International Rivers welcomes this decision as a fantastic breakthrough for civil society groups in Burma and their partners in China and around the world. Grace Mang, program coordinator at International Rivers, said: “The suspension of the Myitsone Dam is a great success for civil society groups in Burma and throughout the world. The decision shows that dam builders can no longer rely on dict

Burma Dam: Why Myitsone Plan is Being Halted

Friday, September 30, 2011
Originally published in BBC News In a rare concession, the Burmese government has suspended a long planned and highly controversial hydroelectric dam project in the face of growing public opposition. The campaign against the construction of the Myitsone dam brought together conservationists, scholars, and political activists including Aung San Suu Kyi, and had become a serious test for the new civilian-led, military-backed government. Myitsone was being developed jointly by the state Myanmar Ministry of Electric Power, the privately-owned Asia World Company of Burma and the China Power Invest

The Myitsone Dam on the Irrawaddy River: A Briefing

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
1. BackgroundProject Overview The Myitsone Hydroelectric Project is located at the confluence of the Mali and N'Mai rivers and is the largest of seven dams (total capacity 13,360 MW) planned along the Irrawaddy, Mali Hka, and N'Mai Hka rivers in Burma. Scheduled for completion in 2019, Myitsone will become the 15th largest hydropower station in the world, with installed capacity at 6,000 MW. The dam project is expected to costs USD $3.6 billion dollars and is being developed by Myanmar Ministry of Electric Power-1, China Power Investment Corporation, and Asia World Company of Burma. Region


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