Chinese Officials Threaten to Blow Up Family’s Dam

John Garnaut reports in the Sydney Morning Herald:

An Australian-Chinese family spent five years and $5 million building a small hydro-electric power project in north-eastern China, at the invitation of the local government.

Then an official higher up the tree, Shi Huiyun, sent a message to Oscar Lin saying there would be no problems if he ”co-operated” and handed over a stake in the venture. The Lin family resisted, the demands grew heavier, and late on Friday they received the boldest threat yet.

”Government officials told me that the time for talking was over,” Mr Lin said. ”They said they would come and blow up the dam on the weekend.”

Mr Shi is head of the Provincial Water Resources Bureau. Contacted by the Herald yesterday, Mr Shi said he had no personal involvement in the case. But recordings obtained by the Herald show otherwise.

”Why do we want to keep [your project]? To give staff some benefits,” Mr Shi told Mr Lin at a lunch on September 1.

September 13, 2009 9:07 PM
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Categories: Society