Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and the second largest city, after Shanghai. Beijing is recognised as the political, educational, and cultural center of the People’s Republic of China, while Shanghai and Hong Kong predominate in economic fields. The city hosted the 2008 Olympic Games.
Shanghai is the largest city in China in terms of population and one of the largest urban areas in the world, with over 20 million people in its extended metropolitan area. The city is mainland China’s center for commerce and finance, and has been described as the "showpiece" of the world’s fastest-growing economy.
In both cities there is a growing gay community athough muted and discreet. There are occasional police raids but not often. Gay voices (tongzhi) are becoming louder especially regarding HIV prevention and care. China has decriminalized homosexuality and also declared it is no longer considered a mental illness. Although there is no explicit law against homosexuality or same-sex acts between consenting adults, neither are there laws protecting gays from discrimination, nor are there any gay rights organizations in China. In one poll, over 80% of Chinese respondents agreed that heterosexuals and homosexuals were "equal individuals"– although ‘Brokeback Mountain’ in 2006, was denied release in the mainland.
The Three Gorges is a scenic area along the Yangtze River in the People’s Republic of China with a total length of approximately 200 km. The Three Gorges occupy approximately 120 km within this region. Although it is primarily famous for its scenery, the Three Gorges region is historically and culturally an important region in China.
The Three Gorges Dam was constructed at a place called Sandouping in the middle of the Xiling Gorge. The reservoir was completed in the summer of 2006, and the water level has already begun to rise. The dam itself is projected to be completed in 2009. Because the water level will be higher, the river will be wider and the mountains will appear lower. Proponents of the dam point out that because the mountains reach several thousand feet above the river, the gorges are still likely to offer spectacular views of the surrounding cliffs.
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