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China Relocates Millions to Harness Biggest River

China is to complete a giant relocation project by the end of this year, moving 2.45 million residents away from the flood-devastated banks of the biggest river in the country.

The State Development Planning Commission (SDPC) announced Sunday that more than 1.8 million residents in four provinces along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River have already been relocated over the past three years.

The central government of China will spend a total of 10.1 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion) on this relocation program, which involves 2.45 million people of more than 620,000 households in Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces.

The SDPC said the government will complete the relocation of these people and the reinforcement of 3,385 kilometers of dikes along the Yangtze River this year.

China embarked on these big projects in 1998, when the country was hit by serious floods.

Official statistics show that over the past three years, the Chinese government has invested 20.4 billion yuan(US$2.47 billion) in the construction of dikes along the Yangtze River. So far, 70 percent of the earthwork has been completed.

A press official from SDPC said the construction projects have helped widen the river. Two major lakes at the middle reaches of the river are growing in their areas, reversing a several-century-old trend of shrinking areas.

(Xinhua News Agency February 10, 2002)

Flood-Control Project on Yangtze River Drawn up
Relocation Projects of Three Gorges Progress Smoothly
53,000 People to Move out of Three Gorges Dam Area
Three Gorges Resettlement Rules Examined
2.6 Million Chinese Shed Poverty Through Relocation
Flood Victims Well Resettled
Ministry Provides Public Information on Flooding
Heavy Flood Takes Toll, Claiming 29
Preparing for Flood Control, Drought Relief
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