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Article

What about the “Stayers”? Examining China’s Resettlement Induced by Large Reservoir Projects

by 1,2,3, 2,4, 2,5, 1,3,* and 1,3
1
School of Public Administration, Hohai University, Nanjing 211100, China
2
School of Geography, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia
3
National Research Centre for Resettlement, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
4
Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies, Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
5
Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Frank Vanclay
Land 2021, 10(2), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020166
Received: 22 December 2020 / Revised: 2 February 2021 / Accepted: 2 February 2021 / Published: 6 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Land Socio-Economic and Political Issues)
Large reservoir projects typically occupy vast lots of rural land and trigger resettlement on a massive scale. In China’s reservoir context, increasing concerns have arisen regarding distant-resettlees (those who are resettled outside the reservoir area), while fewer studies have examined the nearby-resettlees (those who are resettled near the original area) and the non-movers (those who do not resettle). The significance of these two groups has been downplayed and their populations are in the millions (or more) in China. How and why they are impacted is under-researched and their relative position and intergroup nexus with the distant-resettlees remains unclear in the existing literature. To address this research gap, this paper incorporates the differences between nearby-resettlees and non-movers and collectively refers to them as the “stayers” as they are left behind in reservoir areas. Based on the background of reservoir-induced resettlement in present-day China, and a review of the project-induced impacts, we use Danjiangkou Reservoir as a case study. The findings indicate that the stayers are largely disadvantaged in terms of land assets, housing conditions, finance, infrastructure, industrialisation, livelihood strategies, and emotional impact, while many distant-resettlees are less affected or positively impacted in these aspects. Through the lens of the political nature of reservoir-induced resettlements, we interpret the gaps between the distant-resettlees and stayers. Finally, domestic and global policy implications and further comments are presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: development-induced displacement; distant-resettlees; nearby-resettlees; non-movers; social impacts; rural area; post-resettlement stage; comparative study; Danjiangkou Dam; China development-induced displacement; distant-resettlees; nearby-resettlees; non-movers; social impacts; rural area; post-resettlement stage; comparative study; Danjiangkou Dam; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiang, T.; Wang, M.; Zhang, Y.; Shi, G.; Yan, D. What about the “Stayers”? Examining China’s Resettlement Induced by Large Reservoir Projects. Land 2021, 10, 166. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020166

AMA Style

Jiang T, Wang M, Zhang Y, Shi G, Yan D. What about the “Stayers”? Examining China’s Resettlement Induced by Large Reservoir Projects. Land. 2021; 10(2):166. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020166

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jiang, Tianhe, Mark Wang, Yingnan Zhang, Guoqing Shi, and Dengcai Yan. 2021. "What about the “Stayers”? Examining China’s Resettlement Induced by Large Reservoir Projects" Land 10, no. 2: 166. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020166

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