Credibility declines

Published: Friday 31 December 1993

THE CREDIBILITY of China's controversial Three Gorges project to build the world's largest dam across the Yangtze river has received a setback. Two US government agencies -- the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers -- said they will sever their involvement in the project after completing work on a hydrological database.

The two agencies competed with each other in the 1930s and 1940s for civil engineering projects, but their withdrawal from the project indicates new thinking on massive dams since the Clinton administration took over. "We are not really in the dam-building business any more. We are a water resource management agency now," a Bureau spokesperson said.

"We wouldn't support such a project in the US now, so it would be incongruous for us to support it in another country," the spokesperson said.

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