Thursday, May 08, 2008

Chinese proverb of the day

"Do not tear down the east wall to repair the west wall." There is a huge project underway in China to transfer water by canal from the Yangtse river in the rainy south to Tianjin and Beijing in the dry north. It was first proposed by Chairman Mao in 1952 but only got started 50 years later. Critics are questioning whether it will be viable in the long-term as South China is now beginning to experience water shortages. The Three Gorges Damon the Yangtse has been an environmental headache and the Three Gates Gorge dam which was implemented by Mao on the Yellow river was disastrous in terms of water shortages and land disputes. Farmers were evicted and housed in slums in nearby towns. Then the river silted up and industrial overuse reduced its flow causing large areas of arable land to re-emerge and prompting many of the farmers to return to the land to eke out a living. In the mid-80s the Govt relocated large numbers of displaced farmers back to their ancestral homes but allocated them a fraction of the land they’d left two decades earlier. Maybe Mao should have listened to the Western proverb, "The devil is in the detail."


Blogger GoneBackSouth said...

Oh goodness. I know in China people have very little say in what happens to their homes or livelihoods.

3:55 pm  
Blogger kinglear said...

Old Kinglear had a risque proverb he delighted in:
" Lady who sit on Jockey's lap gets hot tip." (Sorry about that)

1:33 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Indeed he should have!

4:02 pm  

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