In 1918, Mr. Sun Yat-Sen suggested, in his book  Strategy for State, Part II: Industrial Plans , a scheme to “improve the upstream from here”, that is, “a dam should be set here to let ships go downstream and use the water resource as power.”
In May 1945, Dr. John Lucian Savage, a famous American expert in dam construction arrived in Three Gorges and put forward his  Preliminary Report on Development Plans of Three Gorges .
In Feb 1950, Changjiang Water Resource Commission, a special governmental organization, was founded for the comprehensive management of the Yangtze River.
In 1955, a comprehensive planning of Yangtze River drainage area and investigation, research and design of Three Gorges project started, and most of the job concluded in 1957.
In 26 Dec 1970, Gezhouba project was approved for construction, which started power generation in 1981, and totally completed in 1989, which can be seen as a test for the future Three Gorges project.
In Feb 1982, Qian Zhengying communicated the instructions from the central government that TGP be listed in the recent national plan. And on 24, Nov, Deng Xiaoping, the former leader of China talked of the future Three Gorges Project in a meeting that “I myself prefer to the lower dam scheme. Be determined once be assured, do not hesitate”.
In Feb- March 1989, the Leading Group for Three Gorges Project Argumentation reviewed and approved the revised  Feasibility Report of Three Gorges Project with normal storage level of 175 m , which indicates that the re-argumentation of the project concluded.
On 3 rd April 1992, The  Resolution to Construction of Three Gorges Project was adopted at the 5 th meeting of the Seventh People's Congress , which indicates that the project entered in to the executive process from legislative process.
On 3 January 1993, the State Council TGP Construction Committee was founded, which would include an executive office, a migrant relocation development bureau and the future China Yangtze Three Gorges Development Corporation (CTG).
On 2 April 1993, the State Council TGP Construction Committee defined the project management system and financing sources and approved the Regulations for TGP Migrant Relocation at the first meeting.
On 29 July 1993, the State Council TGP Construction Committee approved the Report of Preliminary Design of the Three Gorges Project forwarded by Changjiang Water Resource Commission the second committee meeting, which indicates the project entered into the overall preparation stage for construction.
On 27 Sept 1993, China Yangtze Three Gorges Development Corporation (CTG) was, under the authorization of the State Council, founded in Yichang, Hubei province.
On 14 Dec 1994, the Three Gorges project was officially started.
On 8 Nov 1997, the river close-off succeeded, which indicates the construction target of phase I was completed.
On 6 Nov 2002, the close-off of diversion channel succeeded.
On 1 st June 2003, the reservoir began its storage, the water reached at 135m on 10 June and at 139m on 5 November.
On 16 June 2003, the trial navigation of ship lock succeeded. On 18 June 2003, the ship lock started to be open to all sorts of ships.
On 10 July 2003, the first generator unit began generating and connected to power grid.
On 8 July 2004, the double-way and five-step ship lock passed acceptance by an official group (water level between 135-139m).
On 25 April 2005 , the 12 th generator unit began generating. Till 30 June 2005 , Three Gorges power plant produced totally 68.1 billion kW· h, which wields a powerful function to relieve the pressure of national electricity gap, and a big promotion to the shape of national interconnection with trans-regional transmission.
At 8:00 am 8 Sept 2004, Three Gorges project experienced a flood of 60500m 3 /s, the third largest autumn flood in Ynagtze history. This is the first time the project demonstrates its function of flood control by using modernized water regime forecast and monitoring means and scientific reservoir dispatching method, which succeeded withholding a flood of 0.5 billion m 3 in the reservoir while assuring the project safety, normal construction and power generating.
Till 31 December 2004 , the ship lock had totally 13105 operations, with 101.1 thousand ships, 2.808 million of passengers and 48.076 million tons of goods passing through. Ever since it was built , the ship lock has run well without major failures and satisfied met the navigation requirement of the Yangtze navigation with cargo increased by 2/3 compared to maximum level in the history.

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