Mao Zedong, chairman of the People’s Republic of China, first championed the Three Gorges Dam in the 1950s. It wasn’t until 1986 that a feasibility study was commissioned for the damn. Scientists and environmentalists soon saw the many risks this dam posed to the environment, and attempted to warn the Republic. However, the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square silenced their efforts. The National People’s Congress approved the Three Gorges Dam project construction in 1992, despite the high number of abstentions. Dam construction began in 1994 and is expected to be completed in 2012.
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