Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bitter memories above the Yangtze

Bitter memories above the Yangtze

The Amazon may be larger, the Nile longer, but no river flows through the lives of as many people as the Yangtze, known in China as the Chang Jiang.

Despite the spectacular views, for many it brings back memories of bitterness and pain.

Zhang Zheng Jun now lives with his wife in one room overlooking the river, his only belongings spilling out of a suitcase.

In March he was forcibly relocated - his home demolished to make way for a bridge over the new reservoir created by China's Three Gorges Dam.

When he refused to accept the governments compensation offer he was arrested and his house torn down.

Up to four million people may lose their homes before the project is completed in 2009.

Over a million and a half have already been forcibly resettled, but many complain they have yet to see any compensation.

Allegations of corruption are also widespread, with reports emerging that tens of millions of dollars of resettlement money are being pocketed by corrupt officials.

Here is the full article.