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The Water Kingdom: A Secret History of China

Explains importance of China’s main rivers, waterways, wetlands, and dams as to reflect people’s lives, political landscape, as well as literature and arts aesthetics from the dynastic period to People ’s Republic era. Depicts geography of wetlands between Huang He (Yellow River) and Chang Jiang (Yangtze) as the political and economic hub of central China. Narrates Chinese myths about water and flood as well as the uses of the myths in governing aspect. Studies Chinese scripts and pictograph relating to water and river, as well as water as metaphor in Daoism and Confucianism. Gives evidences of hydraulic despotism which implies to political power coming from ability to control irrigation and waterways. Mentions vessels, ships, and marine trade as tools to externalize Chinese imperialism to the Southeast Asia, Arab states and some parts of Africa. Exhibits the use of water, rivers, dams and flood as claims for war games, navy development and bureaucratic controls in every dynasty and even in Moa Zedong’s period. Demonstrates literature and arts about water and flood, as well as foresees China’s problems on water issues.