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China Showcases Success of Dam Resettlement
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Tens of thousands of people have visited an exhibition in Beijing that showcases China's progress in resettling about 1 million people from the Three Gorges dam site.

Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, said during a visit to the exhibition at the National Museum that the progress of the dam project and resettlement displayed the advantages of China's Socialist system, the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the cohesion of the people.

The dam, when it begins operating at full capacity in 2009, help prevent flooding in densely-populated areas while generating clean energy.

The exhibition opened on April 7, and will tour nine provinces from mid-April to early June.

Those displaced for the project were given compensation to build new homes, or given farmland or jobs in other areas.

Cao Guangjing, deputy general manager with China Yangtze River Three Gorges Development Corp, the State-owned company in charge of the world's largest dam project, said last September that more than 1.05 million people had been successfully relocated over the past two decades.

The number accounted for 82.6 percent of the 1.13 million people expected to be displaced from their homes.

Cao said most of the resettled people were satisfied with their new lives, enjoying better living conditions.

China began an eight-year trial resettlement in 1985 and officially launched the operation in 1993 when the construction of  the 185-meter-high dam started on the middle reaches of China's longest river.

By last July, nearly 42.9 billion yuan (US$5.3 billion)had been earmarked for relocating residents and businesses, building homes and infrastructure.

Of the investment, 21 billion yuan (US$2.6 billion) was donated by 21 Chinese provinces and municipalities, more than 10 large and medium-sized cities, and 50-plus government departments to help the mammoth endeavor.

Involving an investment of 203.9 billion yuan (US$25.2 billion), the project is designed to help control floods on the Yangtze and increase China's annual power supply by an equivalent to 50 million tons of standard coal.

Meanwhile, Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan said on Friday the Chinese leadership, including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, attached great importance to resettlement.

Meeting people cited for their contribution to the successful resettlement, Zeng urged governments at various levels to continue their support for the residents by creating more jobs and raising living standards.

(Xinhua News Agency April 15, 2006)

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