Editor’s note for Wednesday, June 24, 2020


Dear Access member,

Happy Dragon Boat Festival to our Asia-based readers, who are receiving this on June 25. You may enjoy a video we previously published on this holiday by Yuan Ren, titled All the different zongzi one can eat during Dragon Boat Festival.

In less cheerful news about floating down rivers, historic rainfall has hit southern China, affecting more than 11 million people across half a dozen provinces and causing the evacuation of more than 100,000 people in the Qijiang District of Chongqing, per Sixth Tone.

The Three Gorges Dam is “not at risk of collapse” amid the heavy rainfall, the Global Times reported, in response to concerns voiced by German-Chinese hydraulic engineer Wáng Wéiluò 王維洛 to Radio France Internationale (in Chinese). The reputation of the Global Times makes one naturally wonder: Is the Three Gorges Dam at risk of collapse due to heavy rainfall?

Maybe not: Concerns about the quality of construction for the Three Gorges Dam are as old as the dam itself, and rumors about its impending collapse pop up regularly. However, climate change is increasing the severity of flooding as the years go by, and suppression of information about the Three Gorges Dam is as strong as ever: Just yesterday, France 24 correspondent Antoine Védeilhé said he was blocked from interviewing Fàn Xiǎo 范晓, a geologist and long-standing critic of the Three Gorges Dam.

Our top story is about the China-India conflict. It is based largely on notes I took from our event today with George Washington University professor Deepa Ollapally. Access members can watch a recording of that event here.

Our word of the day is Three Gorges Dam (三峡大坝 sānxiá dàbà).

—Lucas Niewenhuis, Newsletter Editor

P.S. I would love to hear from readers! You can reach me with any feedback at lucas@supchina.com. Replying to this email, meanwhile, will reach Jeremy’s inbox; he will be back on Monday.