WE AND OUR YELLOW RIVER: THRIVING TOGETHER
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The issue of the Yellow River has become the biggest concern of members of the Chinese peoples Political Consultative Conference. My childhood, in fact, is closely associated with the river. My father is an engineering geologist, and he used to take me with him on his trips to the hydropower stations on the river. I enjoyed those trips, especially the trip to Longyang Xia reservoir. Although ten years have passed since my visit, I can still recall the scenery; I can still recall the water I saw at the reservoir. It was pure, clean and blue, not like the water I saw in the middle reaches of the river, which had turned brown and muddy after passing through the Loess Plateau.
Once during our stay at the power station, we were caught in a thunderstorm. And when rain stopped, I could see trickles of water rolling down mountain slopes and flowing into the reservoir. It carried little mud or sand, because at that time, trees and grass still grew around the reservoir. And they protected the soil. At Longyang Xia I was struck by the beauty of nature, and as a child I wanted to stay there and to grow up with our Yellow River.
Li Bai, the Tang Dynasty poet, said praises to the flowing water in the Yellow River. He saw it as coming down from heaven and nurturing the people along her way to the sea. However, in 1997,for 330days, not a single drop of water from the Yellow River went into the sea. And droughts are not the only punishment by nature. A friend of my father's, a university professor, is doing research on the Yellow River. According to this professor, the Yellow River will soon change its course if we allow this situation to continue.