BEIJING (AP) _ Authorities in central China have begun moving 71,000 people in the second stage of a resettlement program to make way for the giant Three Gorges Dam.

Hubei province also will move 52 major industrial and mining operations and build thousands of new buildings to house relocated families and businesses, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday.

China plans to move some 1.2 million people to make way for the dam on the Yangtze River east of the central city of Chongqing. It is the biggest construction project in modern Chinese history.

Xinhua said the second phase of relocation was expected to be more difficult than the first, which ended in November, but did not give further details.