China has just begun construction of a new tunnel project named Yinjiangbuhan on July 7 designed to send water from the Three Gorges Dam to Beijing.
The Yinjiangbuhan tunnel is expected to be 870 miles long, and parts will go as deep as
3,300 feet underground. It is about twice as long as the Päijänne tunnel in Finland, which is currently the longest tunnel in the world.
Yinjiangbuhan will drain water from the Three Gorges—the world’s largest dam—into the Han River, a major tributary of the Yangtze River.
According to SCMP, the project is part of a massive infrastructure plan to boost food production and the economy.
Citing Niu Xinqiang, president of the Changjiang Institute of Survey, Planning, Design and Research, SCMP reported that the Yinjiangbuhan Tunnel would establish a physical connection between the Three Gorges Dam and the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, China’s two critical infrastructure projects.
According to Zhang Xiangwei, director of the planning department with the Ministry of Water Resources, the Yinjiangbuhan project is the first in a series of projects, aiming to expand and strengthen the backbone water networks across China.
According to a Guangming Daily report on July 8, the project will take a decade to build and cost $8.9 billion.
Meanwhile, according to estimates by Liang Shumin, a researcher on economics and development with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, other projects will cost taxpayers more than $1.33 trillion yuan in the future. In the next 30 years, it will be equivalent to about 8% of China’s GDP in 2021.
Yinjiangbuhan’s potential effectiveness is trumpeted by Beijing’s propaganda channels.
Let’s take a look back at the Three Gorges Dam project’s effectiveness, which is directly related to this new tunnel.
The Three Gorges Dam was constructed in 1994 and has began to store water in June 2003.
According to the regime’s initial propaganda, the Dam is China’s largest water project. In addition, the project plays an essential role in regulating water, particularly controlling floods and generating energy on the Yangtze River.
However, in fact, several Chinese irrigation experts have pointed out the project’s many defects.
However, due to political pressure, Pan was later forced to become the project’s leading expert after receiving Beijing’s “coercive education.”
Huang Wanli, a famous Chinese irrigation expert, also sent letters three times to the then Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s General Secretary, Jiang Zemin. Huang advised Jiang not to build the Three Gorges Dam because it must be demolished sooner or later.
He has pointed out several harmful effects of the Three Gorges Dam in various aspects from geology, environment, ecology, and military.
Huang even predicted 12 types of disastrous consequences following the Dam’s completion:
- The dams influence on the lower Yangtze river;
- Obstructing water transport;
- Immigration issues;
- The problem of accumulated sludge;
- Deterioration of water quality;
- Insufficient generating capacity;
- Unusual weather;
- Frequent earthquakes;
- The spread of blood fluke disease;
- Adverse effects on ecology;
- Severe flooding upstream;
- Most importantly, the pressure may cause the Dam to break.
According to Fei Liangyong, a nuclear reactor safety analysis engineer and Chairman of the Global Forum for Supporting China and Asian Democracy living in Germany, the giant Three Gorges Dam has minimal effect on flood control and defense capacity.
On the contrary, it seriously damages the climate and ecological environment. He added that the Three Gorges Dam would have a significant impact on climate change along the Yangtze River after it was constructed. Floods and droughts would emerge one after another, seriously affecting the ecological balance.
Wang Weiluo, a famous irrigation expert, living in Germany, sent a petition letter to the government as early as 1991.
Wang said that in the case where the Three Gorges dam breaks, six provinces of the lower Yangtze River will disappear from China’s map.
He further added that the Dam could become the attack target of external enemies. The Dam is unable to withstand destructive power with its current ballistic technology level.
He concluded that the Dam was not as good as the Chinese regime advertised. Instead, it will only take around 50-100 years before the Dam is demolished.
Despite warnings of potential dangers, the then CCP general secretary Jiang Zemin ordered the dam’s construction
According to Wang Weiluo, the percentage of delegates that approved of the Three Gorges Dam project was just over two-thirds.
This number is equivalent to the percentage of party members in the National Assembly of China.
Jiang Zemin took advantage of the Party’s discipline measures to support the Party Central Committee’s decision. Had he not, the number of delegates approving the decision would not amount to half.
Numbers reveal the truth behind the Three Gorges Dam’s construction
Citing the Xinhua news agency, Reuters reported in 2009 that the Three Gorges Dam project cost $37.23 billion, many times more than initial estimates.
When the project was approved in 1992, deputy prime minister Zou Jiahua announced the project would cost only $8.35 billion.
One of the most controversial aspects of this massive project was the enormous cost of relocating residents along the Yangtze River.
Around 1.3 million people have been forced to leave their homes, where they have long lived for centuries.
According to Lu Chun, deputy head of the office of the Three Gorges Project Construction Committee, finding new homes for people whose towns and villages were flooded cost an additional $10.3 billion.
However, Chinese auditors reported that more than $30 million was embezzled from granted funds in 2004 and 2005. At the same time, they warned that the actual amount could even be much higher.
China’s National Audit Office supposed that $34.8 million of the $1.4 billion allocated in 2004 and 2005 was appropriated by local authorities.
Has the Three Gorges Dam achieved the anti-flood effect as promised?
As Beijing erected the Dam, the regime promised that the Dam would be able to protect communities downstream from floods.
However, since the Dam was put into operation, China has continued to suffer from many historic floods. And the summer floods of 2020 have entirely negated the regime’s claims.
Since June 2020, the heaviest rainfall in nearly 60 years has poured into the Yangtze River basin, causing the river and many of its tributaries to overflow.
According to Chinese authorities reports, more than 158 people have died or gone missing. 3.67 million residents have been relocated, and 54.8 million people have been affected. This has caused an economic loss of $20.5 billion.
Despite the loss and damage, Beijing still declared that the Three Gorges Dam has succeeded in playing an “important role” in preventing floodwaters.
In an interview with the state-run China Youth Daily newspaper, an official from the Ministry of Water Resources boasted that the Dam has effectively reduced the rate and extent of water level rise in the middle and lower Yangtze River.
In response to these historic floods, the Dam has opened its sluice gates several times since late June to release water from its reservoir, generating extreme criticism from residents on Chinese social media platforms.
They accused the authorities of exacerbating the flood downstream. However, the dam operator has denied the accusation. It even told the state-run Global Times that it has helped delay and prevent floodwaters from flowing downstream.
According to the report of the Swiss Research Institute, one of the world’s largest reinsurance companies, China’s flood damage is about $25 billion, ranking second only after Europe in 2021.
To conceal the accused act, Beijing ordered officials to keep the flood discharge secret
A front-line flood-control officer Kim Minh (alias) told SOH that Beijing’s senior leaders had ordered subordinates to keep the flood discharge secret.
Kim said that the higher-level propaganda department had issued a notice. It stipulated that all flood-control personnel were not allowed to speak or leak flood-related news.
Even the staff downstream are not permitted to speak to the team upstream.
The Three Gorges Dam actually performed a “super discharge.” The regime decided to sacrifice residents’ lives as long as it could help to save the Three Gorges Dam.
According to Wang Weiluo, the regime is responsible to determine the water level and discharge volume of the Three Gorges Dam and all reservoirs in the Yangtze River.
He said that all floods in the Yangtze River in 2020 were man-made disasters because they were all controlled by the authorities. In fact, it’s a human-controlled process.
Releasing floodwater without any warnings in advance has become common in reservoirs everywhere across China, causing both loss of life and property.
An online video showed several shops flooded and heavily damaged. These shop owners can only cry bitterly and have no idea what to do next.
To better understand Beijing’s flood-control effect, let’s take a look at the regime’s behavior in historic floods.
The devastating flood in Zhengzhou city, Henan province, on July 20, 2021, has become the most prominent and notable.
How the flood developed in Zhengzhou on that day was recorded and then uploaded to the Internet by residents.
The video showed there was not much water on Zhengzhou’s roads, although the city had experienced heavy rain. At the same time, cars were still running as usual at 1:40 pm on July 20, 2021.
However, within 30 minutes, downtown Zhengzhou’s entire road network was suddenly flooded.
Then, at 2:20 pm, the water level rose high, causing several buses to stall.
An hour later, at 3:20 pm, Zhengzhou city turned into a vast ocean with all vehicles damaged. At 5:30 pm, floods devasted the entire city of Zhengzhou, and fast currents swept away vehicles and people on the roads.
It is worth mentioning that it was not until 10:00 am on the 21st that Zhengzhou’s Propaganda Department announced the flood discharge notice of Zhengzhou Changzhuang Reservoir at 10:30 am on July 20 (the previous day).
Residents were the last to receive the flood-discharge news but Beijing officials were all informed about the incident in advance.
According to an official, Beijing did not announce the flood release to avoid compensating residents after natural disasters.
The regime wants God to take responsibility for the flood. Then, residents will not blame it for the flood. They will even thank them.
The official added that when residents believe that the flood is a natural disaster, they will feel indebted as the regime supplies them with just a little food like dry food or instant noodles.
Dams and reservoirs usually must release water in the dry season and store water in rainy seasons to prevent floods.
However, the Chinese regime is only interested in the huge profits from hydropower. The regime keeps storing water during the dry season. Then, in the rainy season, Beijing will release water as it realizes the risk of dam collapse despite the residents’ danger.
Spotlight on the Three Gorges Dam: On the verge of breaking
The Three Gorges Dam was constructed more than 20 years ago and has been storing water for 17 years. However, the risk of the dam bursting has generated constant alarm.
The U.S.-based Heritage Foundation think tank warned in early August that excessive flooding would further increase pressure on dams upstream of the Yangtze River.
According to the team, if the dam were to fail, the massive water stream would affect millions of people living downstream. It would flood cities, including Wuhan, and wipe out vast tracts of cropland, while China is currently facing a food shortage risk.
Professor Luu Chongxi, an expert on concrete dam structures, said that the dam’s lifespan is only 50 years. Meanwhile, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Canadian Project Management Corporation’s feasibility report of the Three Gorges Dam is more pessimistic; and that the dam’s life span is only 40 years.
Moreover, the lake’s sediment accumulation is also a challenge.
According to Fei Liangyong, there is a substantial risk that the dam might break leading to disaster to the Yangtze River’s middle and lower reaches.
At that time, the extremely-fast water flow can reach up to 112 miles/hr., directly flowing downstream. Within 20 minutes, it would reach and burst the Jizhou dam, and within two hours, it will cause significant flooding in Wuhan.
Then, the water will submerge even the most developed areas along the Yangtze River, including Wuhan, Jiujiang, Nanjing, and Shanghai.
In addition, around 40% of China’s military forces, particularly the reserve troops are concentrated in these areas. As a result, should the dam collapse, the country’s economy, politics, military, and even national defense will be severely damaged.
Regardless of dams’ ineffectiveness, China keeps topping the world in the number of dams
According to the South China Morning Post’s report, China has 86,000 dams as of 2018. Of which, nearly a third are large dams (at least 15 metres high or can store more than three million cubic metres of water).
The number of dams in China even surpasses the total number of dams that the rest of the world has built.
Beijing currently even seeks to control transnational rivers (Mekong, Brahmaputra, Irtysh, Illy, Amur…) by building dams and other structures. The regime has already built eight giant dams on the Mekong before it flows into Southeast Asia and plans to build 20 more.
Chinese mining and dam construction in Southeast Tibet is suspected to be the cause of pollution.
Brahma Chellaney, India’s leading expert on strategic issues, said that the international community should pressure China to reduce dam construction, respecting environmental standards and downstream countries’ rights.
In contrast to China, the world has long been working to demolish dams to revive rivers.
A study by the University of Portland (USA) in May 2018 shows that if the removing-dams trend continues, the United States will have between 4,000 and 36,000 dams removed. The estimated cost to remove these 36,000 dams is about $25.1 billion.
The Dam Removal Europe organization reported that as of June 2018, 3,450 dams had been removed in countries on the continent (including data from Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, Switzerland, and France).
Dam removal benefits countries in terms of community safety, local economic activities, and national cultural heritage.
At the same time, the removal allows private investors or the government to save a large amount of money compared to the maintenance and repair costs. For example, the cost of removing 70 small dams in Wisconsin is approximately two to five times lower than the estimated repair cost.
These dams have been used to generate power for decades. However, the severe destruction of rivers and ecological systems has led to debates about the removal or repair of these dams in the early 1980s in many countries.
According to the American Rivers Association, although hydroelectricity is still considered a renewable energy source and will continue to increase in the future, the construction of dams and reservoirs is expected to generate methane gas.
This estimated methane amount contributes more than 20% of anthropogenic emissions. Consequently, hydroelectric dams make the current extreme climate change process even more serious.
According to Dam Removal Europe, 500 large dams in France have blocked the flow of fish and silt, especially from mountains like the Alps, and the Pyrenees.
A finding has pointed out that rivers have recovered quickly after the hydroelectric dams were removed.
Most rivers return to a steady state in just a few months or a few years, not decades, especially when they are completely demolished at once instead of being destroyed in stages.
China once achieved water management with the philosophy of ‘following nature’
Dujiangyan dam is a typical example of the “following nature” philosophy. An official named Li Bing built the dam in the Warring States period. The dam has stood for 2,200 years, playing a significant role in turning Sichuan into China’s affluent granary.
Dujiangyan dam consists of a shallow dyke lying in the middle of the Min river. It divides the Min river into an inner river and an outer river.
The dyke is designed not to prevent floods. Instead, it is located right in the river’s middle, automatically dividing the water into two unequal parts. In the flood season, 60% of the water flows outside and 40% flows inside. In the dry season, 40% of the water flows outside and 60% flows inside.
Later dynasties repaired the dam based on the original principles of the dam’s macro design and maintenance. As a result, Dujiangyan has been long-lasting and has brought endless benefits to Chinese residents from generation to generation.
The dam remained unharmed even when the Wenchuan earthquake, with highly destructive power, caused substantial damage to Dujiangyan city.
The dam is a water-management work that reflects the “following nature” philosophy and the “unification of heaven and earth” thought of ancient China.
Dujiangyan dam has not created the philosophy on its own. Instead, the dam is a continuation of the ancient spirit of the 5,000-year-old divine Chinese culture.
It is the harmonious coexistence with nature. It does not confront nature. Instead, it cleverly takes advantage of nature’s power to turn disadvantages into advantages.
Let’s have a look at the water-management work of Xia Dawu, the Xia dynasty’s famous king.
The Yellow River basin has experienced several water-related disasters under the reign of the Yao king. However, as Xia Dawu took over the water-management work, he used a “cooperative method” to control the water by following the water flow and bringing it to the sea. After 13 years of tireless work, Xia Dawu finally succeeded. Later, the Yao king handed the throne to Xia Dawu, and Xia Dawu founded the Xia dynasty.
The water-treatment method of both Xia Dawu and Li Bing with the success of the Dujiangyan dam has demonstrated the correctness of the ancient Chinese philosophy of “following nature.”
However, since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power in 1949, the party has changed the philosophy of “following nature” into “fighting with heaven and earth.”
Beijing has taken several measures to impose this “anti-nature” philosophy on its residents and nature.
One of the regime’s measures is to continuously build dams to control nature, becoming the world-leading country in dam numbers. However, the Three Gorges Dam failure has proved that the CCP’s fighting spirit has completely failed.
Returning to the new tunnel project, Beijing claimed that the tunnel was the start of a string of other projects to boost food production and the economy.
Then, the regime announced to strengthen China’s nationwide backbone water-supply networks.
Whether Beijing’s propaganda is true or just another lie to cover its failure to deal with the severe consequences of the Three Gorges Dam’s safety?
What will Beijing’s next move be after this newly built tunnel project?