China extends assistance for Three Gorges Project regions

Updated: 2014-08-26 15:39


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BEIJING - The State Council, China's cabinet, announced on Tuesday that national economic assistance for regions affected by the Three Gorges Project will be extended for the 2014-2020 period.

According to the plan passed by the government, the country will enhance assistance for employment and economic development in more than 20 counties in Chongqing municipality and Hubei province.

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The core purpose of the assistance is to improve the developmental capabilities of the regions affected by the Three Gorges project, according to the plan.

Assistance should be targeted at boosting local regions' competitive sectors, supporting relocated communities, alleviating rural poverty, enhancing public services, job training, and ecological protection, according to the plan.

Five areas will be prioritized in assisting the regions during the next six years. They include industrial support for agriculture, tourism, commerce, logistics, and cooperation-based manufacturing; infrastructure in rural regions; public services such as basic education, vocational training, medicine and hygiene; job training and employment programs; and environmental protection.

The plan added that the national economic assistance policy since 1992 has helped ensure the progress of the country's Three Gorges project, with improved local infrastructure and livelihood for residents.

The Three Gorges project is a multi-functional water control system consisting of a 2,309-meter-long, 185-meter-high dam, a five-tier ship lock and 26 hydropower generators.

The construction plan was passed by the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, in April 1992. Construction on the project, which cost over 200 billion yuan ($32.4 billion), began on December 14, 1994. Some 1.3 million people have been relocated to make way for the project.

After nine years of construction, the dam's first generator went into operation in July 2003. The last generator started operations in July last year. The Three Gorges hydro-power project had generated 712 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity by the end of 2013.