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Home : China Guide : Three Gorges : Three Gorges Project

Dr. Sun Yat-sen mentioned the improvement of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River in the article "The Practice Planning", he wrote : "Improve the upper part of the river and resist the water with the gate, so that ships can go against flowing water and the hydropower can be used." Dr. Sun Yat-sen was the first one who put forward the imagination of the construction of the Three Gorges Project ( the TGP ).

The National Government Construction Commission drew up the plan of building dams at Gezhouba and Huanglingmiao respectively. That was the first survey and design for the development of water resources of the Three Gorges in China.

Dr. John L.Savage, an American dam engineering expert, came to investigate the Yangtze River Three Gorges and wrote a report "The Tentative Report on the Plan of the Yangtze Three Gorges Project". It is known as "The Savage's Plan".

The National Government signed a contract with the American Cultivation Bureau which requested the latter to design the TGP.

In May, the Three Gorges hydro-electric plan was stopped from being put into effect by the National government , and all the technicians from America were withdrawn .

The State Council Yangtze River Water Conservancy Commission was founded in Wuhan.Three years later,Jingjiang Flood Diversion Project was built in Hubei.

Mao Zedong said:"Now that building reservoirs in the branches is a great expense, and they don't reach the purpose of controlling floods...""What about building the TGP first?!"

In October,the Yangtze River Water Conservancy Commission Upper Reaches Bureau put forward that the normal water level of the reservoir would be EL 190 metres in future .

The Planning of the Yangtze River valley, the survey, scientific research, designing, and demonstration of the TGP were in full swing.
In December, Premier Zhou Enlai put forward formally: The TGP has the peculiar function of storing for the upper reaches and compensation for the lower reaches.

Premier Zhou Enlai clearly appointed that "the TGP needs building and can be built. We must carry out our work under the guideline of active preparation and sufficient reliability".

In August, Zhou Enlai presided over the Three Gorges Conference in Beidaihe. He requested that the report of the main point of the initial plan of the TGP be completed in 1958.

In May, experts in Wuchang voted to pass the plan of appointing Sandouping as the damsite.

In April, the CPC Central Committee Zhongnan Bureau held an economical cooperation conference in Chuangzhou.
Making an investment of 400 million yuan during the second national five-year plan and preparation for the starting of the TGP in 1961 was discussed.

In 1970, the Central Committee decided that Gezhouba Project would be built first as a part of the whole TGP. On December 26th, Mao Zedong made a comment personally: "I am for the building of the dam" On December 30th, Gezhouba Project started working.

January 4th witnessed the tough but successful damming of the main channel of Gezhouba Water Control Project.

" Be determined to do what we think right.Never hesitate!" said Deng Xiaoping when he heard the report about building the TGP.

In April, the State Council decided initially the low-dam plan that the TGP would carry out the normal water level EL 150 meters of the reservoir.

The City of Chongqing made an utmost objection to the low-dam plan. It was considered that this plan would not at all improve the navigation condition of the upper reaches of the Yangtze, that is,a 10,000-ton ship would not be able to arrive in Chongqing directly.

In June, the Central Committee and the State Council ordered the Ministry of Water Conservancy to put forward a practical report about the TGP again. The group of experts whose leader was Qian Zhengying were working to prove the report for 2 years and 8 months.

The final design of the TGP decided that the height of the dam was EL 185 meters,the normal water level of the reservoir was 175 meters. In July, President Jiang Zemin inspected Sandouping where the dam would be built. At the end of the year,Gezhouba Project was completed totally.

The TGP Investigation Commission of the State Council was founded, and Zou Jiahua, Vice-premier of the State Council, was director of the commision.

In August,1991, the Commission adopted the feasible research report.

On April 3rd, the Resolution for the Construction of the Three Gorges Project on the Yangtze River was adopted in the 5th session of the 7th National People's Congress.

Among the representatives, 1767 voted in favour of the TGP, 177 voted against, 644 abstained, and 25 didn't press the voting buttons.

In January, the TGP Construction Commission of the State Council was founded,and Premier LiPeng held the post of directors of the TGP Construction Comission concurrently.

In July, the TGP set the preparation stage for formal construction.
In August, the State Council issued the Yangtze River TGP Construction Resettlement Regulations which stipulated that the developing resettlement policy should be carried out in the construction.

At the opening ceremony on December 14th, Mr.Li Peng,Premier of the State Council, declared the TGP to be started formally.

In late November, the damming program of the TGP started.

In January, the State Planning Commission formally confirmed the plan of issuing the TGP Bond worthy of RMB one billion yuan(approximate USD 120 million).

In September, the moving of the first resettlement of the inundated area in the Three Gorges reservoir was basically completed.

On October 1st, Qinjiatuo Bridge, which has the biggest loading capacity in Asia,was open to traffic. It symbolized that the construction of the outer transportation of the TGP was completely finished.

On October 6th, the Diversion Ditch of the TGP was open to navigation.
On October 14th, the State Council passed the acceptance report for the damming of the main channel of the TGP and decided that the main channel of the Yangtze River would be dammed on November 8th.

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On November 7th, the state Council held a conference on the resettlement and directional assistance of the TGP in Yichang, Hubei Province. Mr.Li Peng,Premier of the State Council, attended the conference and made an important speech. Mr Zou Jiahua, Vice-premier of the State Council,gave a report, too.

On November 8th, Mr.Li Peng declared: "I'm now glad to announce the success of the damming of the main channel of the TGP." Then, Mr.Jang Zemin,General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, gave an important speech.

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