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Reading: Water Power: The “Hydropower Discourse” of China in an Age of Environmental Sustainability

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Special Section Fall 2013: Asian Environments, Guest Edited by Darrin Magee

Water Power: The “Hydropower Discourse” of China in an Age of Environmental Sustainability

Author:

Yuen-ching Bellette Lee

University of California, Los Angeles, US
About Yuen-ching
Yuen-ching Bellette Lee is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Abstract

As the world searches for renewable energy in the face of climate change and China attempts to expand its power supply to further its economic development, hydroelectricity has moved to the top of the country’s energy agenda. This has given rise to a new form of  “hydropower discourse” in China. The discourse is underpinned by the ideas of environmental protection and sustainable development, which are widely perceived as unobjectionable in view of the current availability of resources. This article argues that the apparent ethical pursuit of renewable energy by building dams to generate electricity masks relations of dominance and helps to enable large energy companies, political leaders, and regional decision makers to pursue their interests against those who have limited or no access to the knowledge and capital employed in the development process. It will examine the ideological assumptions and institutional rootedness of hydropower discourse, and the power relations embedded in it.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.103
How to Cite: Lee, Y.-. ching B., (2014). Water Power: The “Hydropower Discourse” of China in an Age of Environmental Sustainability. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. 21(1), pp.42–51. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.103
Published on 24 Feb 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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