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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!