We Like Our Projects Big

As rulers of the world's most populous nation, China's leaders like their projects supersized. The Great Wall, Great Leap Forward and Grand Canal all made up in audacity what they lacked in practicality. China's latest white elephant, which was officially unveiled last month, is a massive water project that aims to divert up to 10% of the Yangtze River to chronically drought-stricken swaths of northern China. Three major routes will carry water northward, and construction will begin next year on aqueducts and canals as wide as 20-lane expressways. In the process, at least 370,000 people will be displaced and the ecosystems...

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