China completed construction on Saturday of the giant Three Gorges Dam wall, a milestone in the world's largest hydroelectricity project which is also designed to tame the flood-prone Yangtze river.
Chinese nationalist leader Sun Yat-sen proposed the project as early as 1918, and Mao Zedong once waxed poetic on his hopes for a "great wall of stone" from which "a smooth lake" would arise among the gorges.
Workers and officials marked the completion of the massive wall on Saturday, in a ceremony broadcast live on state television.
A brass band played and confetti rained over the site after workers poured the last batch of concrete.
In contrast to the launch of work on the dam in 1997, attended by both then- President Jiang Zemin and then-Premier Li Peng, no top officials attended Saturday's event.
State media praised the development company's decision to forego a plan to spend upwards of 1 million yuan ($125,000) on the ceremony and opt instead for a simpler one that cost only hundreds of yuan, saying the move emphasized that the wall's construction marked only a partial completion of the project.
Officials stressed that although construction of the dam's main span was now complete, much of the work remained.
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If it ever fails...*shudders*