The American Interest: How Chinese Corruption Spreads Misery Abroad
Thu October, 2020, Age: 2 years
This summer, record flooding in southern, eastern, and Central China has caused massive infrastructure damage both in China and in countries downstream. Beginning in June, Chinese authorities began releasing water from China’s dams through downstream systems as a part of emergency floodwater discharge. An estimated 37 million people inside and outside of China have been affected, and economic losses arising from the floods are estimated to be around $3 billion. The severe flooding has raised renewed concerns about the structural stability of dams such as the controversial Three Gorges Dam, but Chinese authorities have refused to engage with criticisms, instead blaming “foreign forces” for trying to tarnish China’s reputation. At the same time, Chinese authorities have refused to release data about the floodwater release, and have remained uncooperative on publicly discussing issues related to exacerbated seismic activity, droughts, and ecological damage due to the dams. The doubts surrounding China’s dam construction may presage future questions regarding the quality and durability of BRI-related mega-infrastructure projects abroad.