South China's Guangdong Province has signed deals worth almost 3.5 billion yuan (514.7 million U.S. dollars) with the Three Gorges Dam area to create more jobs there, local authorities said Sunday.
These projects, upon completion, would be able to create jobs for 26,390 relocated people in the regions in sectors such as textiles, electronics, lighting equipment, material processing, tourism and trade.
The deals are results of a work conference between Guangdong and the Three Gorges Dam regions held in Guangdong last week.
Wang Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Committee of the Construction of the Three Gorges Project and the Three Gorges Project Office under the State Council, praised Guangdong's support to the Three Gorges Dam regions since the province was arranged to aid the regions 17 years ago.
Yang Shaosen, deputy secretary-general of the Guangdong provincial government, said the province had given aide totaling 4.98 billion yuan to the Three Gorges Dam regions by the end of 2008.
About 337.7 million yuan are invested for free into the area to fund relocation projects of residents in Wushan County, in Chongqing Municipality, infrastructure construction of the big relocation project, building relocated schools and new clinics, said Yang.
Launched in 1993, the hydroelectric project has been built near Yichang in central China's Hubei Province to tame the unruly Yangtze River and fuel China's economic development with clean and cheap energy.
As of April 7, the world's largest hydroelectric project has generated 300 billion kwh of electricity since its first generator was put into operation in July 2003. The amount is equivalent to 8.8 percent of the national consumption last year.
However, the project is disputed for having forced people, a total of 1,255,000 so far, to relocate from affected areas.