Following China’s worst floods in five years, proponents of the Three Gorges dam have said that the project is necessary for flood control. Li Peng, who retired as Prime Minister in March, is seen as the founder of the project. He is reported to have commented that the Three Gorges will play a major role in reducing floods on the Yangtze river by 2003.

Widespread flooding on the Yangtze this summer is reported to have killed 3000 people and to have caused damage estimated in the region of US$20B.