The massive Three Gorges Dam has moved a step closer to completion as workers began dismantling an earthen wall that had kept its construction site dry.
Tearing down the 250-foot-tall protective dam will take an army of bulldozers and cranes five months to finish, the report said.
The report said the Three Gorges Dam - the world's largest - is now complete enough to begin holding back waters of the Yangtze, China's largest river.
When finished in June 2003, the dam will be a wall of concrete 590 feet tall and almost 11/2 miles long. Its reservoir will be filled by stages until it reaches 400 miles in length in 2009.
The $24 billion dam has been widely criticized as a throwback to communist central planning that will damage the environment and displace more than a million residents.