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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Huai River Harness Work - Set from China

China Post has issued a set of four stamps commemorating the 60th anniversary of harness work on the Huai River. The stamps were designed by Zhang Shiqi.

The Huai River is a major river in China. It is located about mid-way between the Yellow River and Yangtze River, the two largest rivers in China. However, the Huai River does not flow all the way to the sea, making it notoriously vulnerable to flooding.

Until the twelfth century the Huai flowed unimpeded into the sea. But slowly, the Yellow River changed course, eventually blocking the Huai's entrance into the sea. This caused the slope of the riverbed in the lower and middle reaches to become gradual, so that both the mainstream and tributaries became less effective for draining flood waters.

In summer 1950 the Huai flooded, causing a great deal of destruction. In response, the State Council announced its campaign to "Harness the Huai River". The campaign would dam the upper reaches of the river in order to develop hydro power and control floods by both storing flood water in upstream reservoirs and in low-lying flood diversion areas and by dredging the Hong and Ru rivers, the chief local tributaries on the upper reaches of the Huai.