China suffers from the effects of widespread air pollution, and needs to limit its dependence on fossil fuels. Hydropower is an obvious solution. China has had a great success with the Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangtze River. Nuclear power is not a viable option for China because of the danger of earthquakes.
I think with a country as populated as china that it should be considering how to get things done while not inflicting so much damage to the environment and maybe hydro power can help with that. Other methods of production could be either to hazardous because of the pollutants that it might emit.
In the recent years, China need for power has driven it to use all sources of energy. Hydro power was part that "movement". But like i said rivers are limited and China has already created tension with it's river neighbor. Anymore could lead to even more unneeded tension between China and its neighbor. While it could take off some of the power need from Coal plants. It isn't enough.