As the fastest rising superpower on the globe, China now produces
a fourth of all the world’s electricity.
«Now I am swimming across the great Yangtze,
Looking afar to the open sky of Chu.»
The year is 1966 and in one of the greatest political PR stunts ever devised,
the 73-year old Communist leader, Mao Tse Tung plunged into the
Yangtze River. Taking part in an annual swim, he reportedly swam the distance
in a time that would have made him the fastest swimmer on Earth.
Twice as fast as the current world record holder in the Olympic Games.
No international reporters were allowed to cover the event. This was to
become the real start of the Cultural Revolution, and would give birth to a
Mao’s dream was a dam.
«Walls of stone will stand upstream to the west
To hold back Wushan’s clouds and rain
Till a smooth lake rises in the narrow gorges.»
Mao is now dead, but the dam has been built. 51 years later his dream has come true
in what is now called «The New Great Wall of China», the largest power station in the world.
The international community often speaks of China as a leader in the
useful implementation of green energy. They are not only the largest
producer of hydroelectricity but also solar and wind energy.
Despite their green leaps and China is still burning more coal than the rest of the world combined.
The nation is obsessed with power and is proposing extending their
grid so that they can export electricity as far away as Germany.
«The Mountain Goddess
if she is still there
will marvel at a world so changed.»
(Passages from Chairman Mao Tse Tung’s poem, «Swimming»)