New Dam Changes Life Along China's Yangtze River

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In China, the massive Three Gorges Dam has been completed. In just two weeks the water level upstream has risen 450 feet, submerging villages, beautiful scenery and the once terrifying rapids. The Yangtze, which Pearl Buck described as "the wildest, wickedest river" on earth is being tamed. The dam will produce hydro-electric power and will reduce annual flooding downstream, but it has also ended a way of life. Thousands of boatmen used to haul vessels upstream and navigate them down through the rapids, risking life and limb. Efforts are being made to preserve the boatmen's chants, the Haozi, but they too may vanish with time. NPR's Rob Gifford reports.



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