For years, China has denied or downplayed charges that its Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River—the world's largest hydro-electric project—is plagued by widespread corruption.
Construction started in 1994, and the dam is regarded as the largest project in China since the Great Wall.
The reservoir created above the dam is more than 600 kms (373 miles) long and 1.12 km wide on average. The total cost of the project, due for completion in 2011, is estimated at 180 billion yuan (U.S. $22.5 billion).
The Chinese authorities have touted their success in resettling more than one million people who have lost their homes under the rising water levels of the Yangtze. But residents of villages above the dam say they and thousands of others have been cast adrift by corrupt local officials.