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|Thursday, August 17, 2000, updated at 09:23(GMT+8)|
Migrants of Three Gorges Dam Area Embrace New LifeA young girl stretched out her arms to let her white one-piece dress dance in the wind, as the steamboat carried her downstream on the Yangtze River to Chongming Island of Shanghai, her new hometown.
After a 70-hour voyage, 18-year-old Ke Chunyan, a migrant from the Three Gorges Dam area, is expected to arrive at the island Thursday morning, along with many of the villagers.
"I will move into my new home in my new dress and begin an new life," she said.
By September 1, more than 7,400 Three Gorges migrants will settle down in 11 provinces and cities, including Shanghai, Jiangsu and Guangdong.
Another 120,000 people are expected to emigrate out of Chongqing Municipality and Hubei Province in the next few years for the construction of the Three Gorges Dam project.
Li Shaobo, a 39-year-old father of two, is quite optimistic about the change.
"My children will adapt to the new circumstances better and quicker than my generation," he said. They are sure to have a brighter future."
He added that his belief is shared by most of the migrants.
Xu Jibo, who used to live in the mountains, carried a bicycle with him. He is among the many migrants who made careful preparations for their new lives on the plains.
Two months ago, Xu wandered around the mountains of his hometown and finally unearthed a seedling, which he plans to plant near his new home on the Chongming Island.
Like Xu, many of the migrants brought a seedling in their bags in the hope that they will be growing luxuriantly in their new hometowns, just as their new lives will have bright prospects.
In Chongming, 150 new houses have been built for the first batch of people from the Three Gorges Dam area.
"We have prepared everything necessary for the daily life and production activities of the newcomers, including the education of the children," said a local official.
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