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Resettlement in the Three Gorges Project

Yan Tan

Publication Year: 2008

Reluctant Heroes provides a rich portrait of the urban milieu and life in two contrasting yet interrelated cities in South China. It is a fascinating study of rickshaw pullers in Hong Kong and Canton.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. v-vi

List of Figures

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pp. vii-viii

List of Tables

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pp. ix-x

List of Maps

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pp. xi

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pp. xiii-xiv

Issues surrounding dam and reservoir building and other large development projects and involuntary human displacement remain fervently contested both in China and in other parts of the world. These issues involve complex interrelationships between economic, environmental, social, technical, political, and cultural factors. They are particularly significant in China where development projects have routinely involved significant...

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Acknowledgements [Includes Maps]

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pp. xv-xxxv

This book is based in part upon my PhD dissertation, which was completed in February 2004. This doctorial research was awarded the 2004 John Lewis Silver Medal by the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia for academic excellence and contribution to population and development studies. I am indebted to many people and institutions that have supported me throughout the completion of this book. First and foremost, I thank Professor Graeme Hugo, Federation...

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1 - Introduction

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pp. 1-26

Involuntary resettlement can be caused by wars, religious conflicts, political upheaval, natural disasters and infrastructure projects such as reservoirs and dams. While governments and private investors in developed countries now largely avoid constructing dams in preference to cheaper and less risky means of power generation, the construction of dams and reservoirs in developing countries has continued over...

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2 - Involuntary Displacement: A Review

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pp. 27-54

The key incentives for building dams and reservoirs are economic. Political interests also play an important role in the decision-making process (WCD 2000). Dam projects are time intensive, requiring a long planning and construction period, as well as substantial investment funds. There are more than 45,000 large dams in the world, of which over 300 are major dams (at least 150 m high). China alone has around 19,000 large dams and is ranked in...

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3 - Fieldwork and Methodology

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pp. 55-74

Before 2001, six major surveys pertaining to human resettlement of the Three Gorges Project had been conducted by institutes and individuals in China. Firstly, in 1995, a survey from a social psychology perspective was carried out by Fuling Normal College (in Fuling district, Chongqing) (Ma et al. 1998). It covered 630 rural migrants and 572 urban migrants in the reservoir area. That survey focused on evaluating migrants'...

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4 - Developmental Resettlement

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pp. 75-118

In the early 1950s the Chinese government paid equal attention to both resettlement and engineering design of reservoir projects. However, the campaigns of the Great Leap Forward Movement and the Cultural Revolution caused major changes in the structure of society and the economy, resulting in many problems that were only beginning to be solved in the early 1980s, with some still remaining today. In 1952, the first regulation...

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5 - Framework for Impact Assessments of Resettlement of the Three Gorges Project

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pp. 119-144

Assessment of the impacts of the TGP and the ensuing resettlement on the economy can be done on different spatial and temporal scales: national, regional, local and individual migrant households and, in the short or long-term. According to Fu (1998), two indices can be applied to measure the value of flood prevention, the biggest benefit of the TGP. One is the ratio (A/A') of the land area protected downstream of the Yangtze...

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6 - Rural Women and Displacement

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pp. 145-159

In China, regulations and laws - on land, labour and marriage, for instance - treat the status and roles of women as being the same as those of men. Women's decision-making power in the domestic field has improved noticeably (West et al. 1999; UNDP 2001) and women's social status showed significant improvements in most aspects during the 1990s (ACWF and CNSB 2001). Women's concerns have been integrated into the...

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7 - Land-Use Change and Rural Resettlement Capacity: A Case Study

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pp. 161-174

The human-carrying capacity of land is a 'dynamic' (Meadows et al. 1992, p. 21) and not a 'unitary' concept (Cohen 1995, p. 233), due to the complex interaction of various factors, such as food and energy supplies, eco-system services, human capital, lifestyles, cultural constraints, social institutions, political structures and public policies (Myers 1992). Feamside (1986, p. 73) defines carrying capacity as 'the maximum number of...

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8 - Land Protection and Compensation for Land Inundation in Peri-Urban Districts: The Cases in Kaixian County

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pp. 175-191

The flooding areas in Kaixian are densely populated and mainly agricultural districts, which extend along the three rivers (the Nan, the Dong, and the Puli) of the Xiao River, a tributary of the Yangtze. Some 30,000 rural migrants are required to be resettled locally through the near resettlement scheme. The main resettlement task will be concentrated in the latter stages (2004-09) of the resettlement and differs from the temporal distribution...

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9 - Government-Organised Distant Resettlement

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pp. 193-225

The government-organised distant resettlement (GODR) approach includes two main parts: moving rural migrants out of the reservoir area to (1) 11 nominated provinces or municipalities, which will benefit from the services (flood prevention, electricity generation) provided by the project and economically developed areas on the east coast and in the middle and downstream areas of the Yangtze River basin; and (2) other non-flooded...

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10 - Conclusion

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pp. 227-242

By investigating the largest planned displacement of people resulting from the biggest dam project in world history, this research provides a great depth of insight into Three Gorges Project (TGP) resettlement issues and developmental issues of poverty and social vulnerability. There are some weaknesses: the survey scope (spatially, temporally) and the sample size. The surveys (both quantitative and qualitative) of this research have...


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pp. 243-261


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pp. 263-274

E-ISBN-13: 9789888052745
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622098565

Page Count: 310
Publication Year: 2008

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Yangtze River (China) -- Regulation -- Social aspects.
  • Forced migration -- China -- Yangtze River Valley.
  • Rural development -- Government policy -- China.
  • Migration, Internal -- China.
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