The activity has received good reviews on student evaluations. It encourages students to actively participate in class and promotes a better understanding of Chinese politics, especially the recent controversy surrounding the Three Gorges Dam.
Group Activity: Instructions for the Instructor
Dai, Qing. Edited by John G. Thibodeau and Philip B. Williams. Translated by Yi Ming. The River Dragon Has Come!: The Three Gorges Dam and the Fate of China's Yangtze River and Its People. New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1998.
Further reading for the instructor:
Group Activity: Background and Instructions for the Studentshere to download this as a student handout.
It is now 1998, five years before the first lock of the Three Gorges Dam in China will be flooded and at least eight years before the Dam itself is fully operational. You have been called to a mediation session about the Dam by mediator, Qi Ren. Qi Ren notes that proponents and opponents of the dam have been unable to reach any compromise on this project, not because there aren’t ways to compromise, but because opponents and proponents talk past each other, fail to listen, and derail the other side’s views. Some of them are motivated by self interest, either for survival or for their organization’s gain. Also at this meeting are villagers who have been or will be resettled by the dam project, Li Boning (an official and a major proponent of the Dam project), and Dai Qing (a vocal critic of the Dam project). You have been asked to join in this mediation because this is the last opportunity to reach a compromise on the project before it is implemented. You have arrived with the instructions not to talk past the other side, to listen, and to try and find a compromise solution.