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CHINESE OFFICIALS ACCUSED OF MISUSING $57 MILLION

Local officials in central China have misused or wasted $57 million in funds meant to help nearly 2 million people relocate to make way for the Three Gorges Dam, a Chinese newspaper reported Saturday.

The officials used the money to build office buildings, run companies, fatten personal bank accounts and pay debts and salaries, the state-run Xinhua News Agency report in the Beijing Daily said.

The Auditing Administration reported the misused funds made up nearly 9 percent of the money audited. It did not say what period the audit covered.

The report was the latest in a series of disclosures about misuse of money for the Three Gorges Dam, which will be the world's largest hydroelectric project.

The massive resettlement program threatens to unleash social unrest, as nearly 2 million people must leave their homes.

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