CHONGQING
Yangtze at Night Flowing to Three Gorges Dam
Chongqing is the largest city in the world!  Whether one measures cities
by area or by population, its 32 million people top the list.  Yet, it is a city
that most people would have trouble finding on a map let alone describing
in terms of historic significance.  For if China today is a linear extension of
Mao's Dynasty, Chongqing is an intimate part of the story.

For what is a hero if not one who has conquered a vilIian?  Where would
Mao be today were it not for Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Chinese
Nationalist Party who tried to manage a campaign against Japan and
Mao's communists at the same time?
 

Much revered in the west because of his positioning against Mao Tse
Tung, Chiang Kai-shek nonetheless represents one of the first modern
foreign leaders who understood that his government could be corrupt,
ineffective and inattentive to its people, IF, it was an anti-Communist
government and reflected American anti-communist policies.  

Chiang built his reputation first as China's only counter-weight to the
communist party and its military challenges.  In 1930, there were more
than ten regions, usually entitled "soviet areas", under control of the
Chinese communists.

In 1930 Chiang Kai-shek attacked these regions five times, using more
than one million Kuomintang soldiers.  Still, four times his army was
defeated by the Red Guard who operated with 45,000 soldiers, and
200,000 local militia.

Chiang rallied his forces once again and by October 1934, he had the
communists surrounded;  yet they escaped to the north in the "Long
March," a retreat from Jiangxi in the southeast to Shaanxi in the
northwest of China.













It was during this 9,600 kilometer (5,965 mile), year-long journey that Mao
emerged as the top Communist leader. It truly was a Long March.

During the Sino-Japanese War, (1937-45) the United States treated Chiang
as an ally who could help shorten the war by engaging the Japanese in
China, and forestalling Mao and his communist followers.  

With the Japanese bombing of Shanghai, 1937, China essentially
collapsed and the Japanese rolled up all Nationalist Forces along the
coast.  Now desperate, Chiang retreated to Chongqing and made it his
capital.

It was a city located well up the Yangtze River, accessible only by water
because of the mountainous terrain, and the waterway itself was shallow,
dangerous and unnavigable by Japanese boats/ships of war.  

As a consequence, Japan decided to bring the city down through bombing
for China had no air force whatsoever.  Civilian casualties were terrible,
and the story of how the United States responded  continues to this day
to reverberate good will toward the United States in China.  

Chiang was anti-communist, and the United States, in addition to a
historic commitment to maintain the territorial integrity of China, was both
absolutely opposed to a Japanese presence on the mainland and a
communist presence in the heartland.  

So, well before December 7, 1941,  Roosevelt requested retired American
military aviators to volunteer, with pay, and fly cargo planes and fighters
(P-40)  to form an informal defense of Chongqing.  

The group, consisting of three fighter squadrons with about 20 aircraft
each, trained in Burma before the American entry into World War II.

Under the command of Lt. General Claire Chennault, the "Flying Tigers"  
saved the Nationalist Army from the Japanese in 1941-42,  permitting
Chiang to prepare to fight Mao and his peasant army.































The Tigers' shark-faced fighters remain among the most recognizable of any
individual combat aircraft of World War II, and they were shooting down
Japanese Zeros when America just kept hearing news of defeat at the hands of
Japanese forces.

The group first saw combat on 20 December 1941, 12 days after Pearl Harbor
(local time). The Tigers were paid combat bonuses for destroying nearly 300
enemy aircraft while losing only 14 pilots on combat missions. In July 1942, the
AVG was replaced by the U.S. Army 23rd Fighter Group, which was later
absorbed into the U.S. 14th Air Force with Lt. General Chennault as commander.
Chennault reported to General "Vinegar" Joe Stilwell who commanded
the entire China-Burma-India Theater.  Stilwell was incessantly critical
of the reluctance of the Nationalist Army to confront the Japanese.  
Infuriated by what he regarded as Chiang's corruption, incompetence
and timidity, he constantly filed reports to Washington complaining of
Chongqing's inaction.

Of his disagreements with Chiang Kai-shek and his eventual recall
from China he wrote in his diary: "The trouble was largely one of
posture. I tried to stand on my feet instead of my knees. I did not
think the knee position was a suitable one for Americans."

As usual, President Harry Truman said it more succinctly,  "They're all
a bunch of damn thieves!" and cut off economic and military support
for the regime.  Chiang then fled to Formosa.

With his decision, to leave China with his Nationalist Army and faintly
echo General Douglas MacArthur's words, "I shall return", Chiang
Kai-shek defaulted governance to Mao Zedong and his followers.  The
Mao Dynasty had begun.  
GENERAL "VINEGAR" JOE STILWELL, COMMANDER
CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER, W.W. II.
Chongqing built a museum in his honor.
CHONGQING AND THREE GORGES
DAM
CHINA'S WATER POLICY
LT. GENERAL CLAIRE CHENNAULT
FLYING THE "HUMP" FROM BURMA TO
CHONGQING
The "Life Saver" was a patch of cloth sewn on the back of the jacket of each airman.  It
contained Chinese language explanations that this pilot was fighting the Japanese for China
and should be assisted in all ways possible.  Clearly, it worked.
I remember seeing a movie just toward the end of the war called "China's Little Devils" and
how they helped Americans defeat the Japanese.  Maybe these were the guys.
Three Gorges Dam, on the Yangtze, 400 miles south of Chongqing, holds a
number of world records. One of them might be that it is 100 years from
the time that  Sun Yat Sen first suggested such a construct.  Building this
dam, with all of its complications was not an overnight impulse.  It is also:

a. Largest hydroelectric plant in the world

b. Largest construction of scale of any dam in the world

c. The highest intensity of concrete placement of any dam in the world

d. The channel change with the strictest requirements of any dam in the
world

e. The spillway dam with the largest discharge capacity of any dam in the
world

f.   Most locks, widest passage /highest total water head of any dam in the
world

g. The Shiplift of the largest scale of any dam in the world.
What does this mean?  For general public purposes, it means that it is 10
feet wider than the Panama Canal, raises and lowers ships higher
elevations through the locks than the Panama Canal.

It means that ships weighing 3,000 tons or less can get an elevator ride up
and down that takes only 45 minutes.

It means that Three Gorges Dam is testimony to China's ability to engineer
a marvel, a near wonder of the world, and at the same time give due
consideration to the variety of issues of controversy: sedimentation;
flooding of old villages and archaeological treasures; safeguards from
earthquake in its engineering, and resettlement of nearly one million
persons.

What does it get?

GENERATION OF POWER: The dam will ultimately operate 32
hydroelectric generating turbines sending clean power into people and
businesses within a circumference of 1,000 kilometers.  This will mean that
this project alone will provide China with 10% of its power needs.  Four
other dams planned to supplement Three Gorges will further enhance
power and provide options to coal.

FLOOD CONTROL:  The Yangtze has historically flooded nearly every six
years  and the devastation on ruined soil, lost lives and destroyed homes
has been astronomical.

LIFE SAVING CONSTRUCTION: There was a major flood in 1870, during
which millions of people along the Yangtze River were affected; in 1931,
145,000 were killed;  a severe flood in 1954 claimed 32,000 lives; 1998
flood killed another 1,500 people.  

TRAFFIC: One way navigation tonnage will be expanded from 10 million
tons a year to 50 million tons a year. This is a 5-time expansion of carrying
capacity and it will be done on waters that are safer than ever in the
history of the Yangtze.  Fees for shipping and electricity have already
repaid 30% of the cost of the dam.

TOURISM:  Yep, we came to look at it.  The only downside to our visit was
that this is the low-flow season and the spillways were not open.  Oh,
there was one other downside: it was so foggy that we had to take a bus
around the dam rather than traveling through the locks....they were closed.
Three Gorges Dam viewed from the air, looking "across the
Yangtze River".  From bottom of picture to top you can see:  

1. The ten locks (5 for each direction) to raise and lower
shipping going in two directions at the same time.  Going
through the five locks takes about 4 hours.

2. Travel up the picture over the land to the next main channel.  
This is the outlet waterway for the "Shiplift" which I like to call
the "elevator".

It can hold a ship of 3,000 tons or less.  Just float the ship into
the elevator, which holds 3 meters of water and in 45 minutes
the ship is released into the channel and is on its way.  
(The Shiplift will not be opened until 2013.  When the original
design was tested, the chains in use broke on the
10,000th use.  
UNACCEPTABLE. !   A new design is being implemented.)

3. Continue up the picture to the dam itself with its spillways,
and underground the planned THREE dozen generators.  Each
generator looks something like this:
A view of Three Gorges Dam looking upriver.  To the right are the
five sets of locks; moving left to the "elevator canal"; moving
further left to the main channel spillway.
SHIPLIFT DESIGN: Entering container from upriver on the right.
Flood the chamber keeping the ship inside of the container.  
Container floats up.  Doors open; ship floats on down the river.  
Limited to vessels 3,000 tons or less.
Five Locks Each Way.  Stairstep total of 10 locks, each one longer,
wider and deeper than the transit locks of the Panama Canal.  No
ship will be turned away, especially container ships. :-)
Sketch of the aerial view.  River flowing from right to left.  Top to
bottom:         LOCKS; SHIPLIFT; DAM AND SPILLWAYS.  

All generators are underneath the structure, using gravity flow to
drive the hydroelectric turbines.
NOTE THE LETTERS "AV" ON THE WINDSHIELD OF THE
JEEP.  AVG stood for American Volunteer Group.
CHINA'S GRAND DESIGN FOR NEW CANALS
CALIFORNIA SHOULD BE SO LUCKY.
GREAT WATER DIVERSION PROJECT:

The middle line is the largest water diversion project ever built in China.
Seven provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei,
Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu and Shandong have been involved in the requisition
of land, the resettlement of locals, water pollution-control and fundraising.

Upon its completion in the middle of the century, the project will be able to
deliver 44.8 billion cubic meters of water to the north each year.

According to the plan, the central canal will draw Yangtze River water up to
Beijing by 2010, and the eastern canal will take Yangtze River water to
Shandong Province by 2005.

As the Chinese summary says: When the project is completed, a huge
network with four major east west waterways, namely, the Yangtze River,
Yellow River, Huaihe River and Haihe river and three north south canals will
cover China, effectively coordinating water resources within the country.  
This will lay a solid foundation to help realize a comprehensive well off
society.  

I say, "harmony".  Then I say, "why can't California do this?"
GREAT WATER DIVERSION PROJECT:

The middle line is the largest water diversion project ever built in China. Seven
provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu
and Shandong have been involved in the requisition of land, the resettlement of
locals, water pollution-control and fund raising.
In China, most water is in the south and additional need is in the north.  These are
the major rivers affected by the Grand Plan: Yangtze-mouth in Shanghai; Huai River
- mouth into lake near Shanghai.  Wei River (at X'ian) flows into Yellow River which
flows through Luoyang and into the Yellow Sea, south of Beijing and Tientsin.   
Hangzhou is a developing city which plays a key role in the water transit scheme.  
 
NORTHERN CHINA ACCOUNTS FOR ONE-THIRD OF CHINA'S POPULATION
AND GDP BUT HAS ONLY ONE-FIFTH OF ITS WATER RESOURCES PER
PERSON.
 
The south-to-north water diversion project consists of three south-to-north
canals, each running more than 1,000 kilometres across the eastern, middle
and western parts of the country. To be built in three phases, section by
section, the three canals will link up the country's four major rivers the Yangtze
River, Yellow River, Huaihe River and Haihe River.
EASTERN CANAL: HANGZHOU TO BEIJING
(Yangtze and Yellow River Waters).
CANAL FROM THE HUAI RIVER TO
RESEVOIRS  IN AND AROUND BEIJING.
CANAL FROM THE HAIHE RIVER TO
RESEVOIR CONNECTED TO  
NORTH/SOUTH CANAL SHOWN BELOW
WHICH TIES YANGTZE RIVER TO BEIJING.