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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Angels Head For "Heavenly Lake"


Lake Tinachi or as it is otherwise known Heavenly Lake is a most beautiful lake some 70 kms northeast of Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur A.R., and is one of the top tourists attractions in Xinjiang and ranks very highly among China's best. It is much loved by the Uygur and Kazakh inhabitants of the area and is certainly a must see for anyone visiting Xinjiang.

According to one travel blurb Heavenly Lake (also just to confuse you sometime known as Jade Lake) is


Covered with firs, pines, cypresses and white snow, it boasts a spectacular sight- reminiscent of Switzerland or the Rocky mountains but somehow with more vibrancy and color. Amidst fields of wild flowers grow morel mushrooms, peppermint and rhubarb, while higher up the mountain are edelweiss and the rare creamy Snow Lotus (Saussurea involucrate), which grows from rock crevices and is believed to have magical powers as a medicinal cure.


According to the linked article Lake Tianchi though has been suffering of late and the government is stepping in to give it a little angelic help.



" URUMQI, May 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has launched a comprehensive program to improve the ecological environment around the Tianchi Lake to protect it from further shrinkage.
The program will be carried out in three phases. Firstly, the region will spend 26 million yuan (3.13 million US dollars) to build dams in the upper reaches of the lake to decrease silt flow and to dig channels to divert water.
Secondly, some 15 million yuan (1.8 million dollars) will be used for resettling local herdsmen living in the upper reaches of the lake, and for developing 15,000 mu (1,000 hectares) of irrigated pasture for them.
And, thirdly, 14 million yuan (1.68 million dollars) will be spent for afforestation in the vicinity of the lake.
The Tianchi Lake, dubbed 'the Pearl of the Tianshan Ranges', covers a water area of 4.9 sq km and abounds in wildlife and other natural resources.
But in the past decade, farming, tourism and the lumber trade, among others, have resulted in deforestation and reduced grassland,and ensuing floods and landslides, leading to the shrinkage of thelake.
The lake's southern bank is now 18 meters closer to the center of the lake than 10 years ago and the depth of the lake has dropped to 80 meters from 100 meters. An area of nearly seven hectares of grassland in the southern bank is now denuded."

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:: Xinhuanet - English ::