Chinese Regime Criticized for Dam Projects

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The Chinese regime is facing growing criticism over its dam projects. Critics say the dams are causing hardship for countries and communities downstream. Chinese companies and banks are building or funding dam projects in more than 30 countries. Rights groups say there's a culture of poor transparency and little consultation.

When the water levels of Thailand's Mekong River drastically fell last year, causing the most severe drought in decades, the Thai government joined several countries and international groups calling on the Chinese regime to disclose information about its two dams upstream.

Critics say Chinese companies do not share information about how their dam projects could affect other countries.

The Chinese regime has built about 20 dams on the eight great Tibetan Rivers, which start in the Himalayas and flow for thousands of miles through neighboring countries. The regime plans to build at least 40 more.

Policy director of California-based NGO International Rivers, Peter Bosshard says Chinese companies and banks do not respond to civil society concerns.

[Peter Bosshard, Policy Director of International Rivers]:
"In our experience, in such projects, there is still often a complete lack of transparency and consultation particularly with civil society groups in the host countries, which need this access most."

One of the most controversial projects is beyond China's shores on the Omo River in Ethiopia. Environmentalists claim it will destroy the livelihoods of indigenous people in the Omo Valley and in neighboring Kenya. Others fear it could spark conflict.

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