China to build a dam on its part of Brahmaputra river

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Adding to the ongoing tensions between India and China, news has it that Beijing is moving ahead with its plans for a hydropower project on Brahmaputra river in Tibet which will most likely have an impact on lower riparian India and Bangladesh. 

“China will implement the hydroelectric project downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo river in 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and its long-term goals through 2035 made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China,” said Yan Zhiyong, the chairman of Power Construction Corp of China (Powerchina), tasked with the construction of the project, according to government mouthpiece Global Times.

The proposal, which was made in China’s 14th Five- Year- Plan and is set to be implemented in the coming year is for building a dam on the Brahmaputra river, which originates in China and has sparked concern among India and Bangladesh. Beijing has downplayed this concern. As a lower riparian state, India has rights to the waters of the trans-border rivers under international law. The Indian government had earlier expressed its concerns to Beijing and urged it to ensure that the interests of downstream states are not harmed by any activity in upstream areas.

“The project could serve to maintain water resources and domestic security,” added Yan while speaking about the project at a conference on Thursday.  

Yan added that the hydropower exploitation of the Yarlung Zangbo River downstream is more than a hydropower project. It is also meaningful for the environment, national security, living standards, energy and international cooperation.

The details of the project will be released after the formal approval of the same by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) in early 2021. 

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