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China Plans To Build Downstream Dams On Brahmaputra River

China Plans To Build Downstream Dams On Brahmaputra:

In its new Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), China has proposed to build the first dams on the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river, as the Brahmaputra is known in Tibet before it flows into India.

  • Other major projects include the construction of coastal nuclear power plants and power transmission channels.
  • China’s dam-building overdrive is a concern because there are no bilateral or multilateral treaties on the water.
  • China believes dam building on the Brahmaputra helps it assert a claim over Arunachal Pradesh.
  • India believes China’s projects in the Tibetan plateau threaten to reduce river flows into India.
  • Dams, canals, irrigation systems can turn water into a political weapon to be wielded in war, or during peace to signal annoyance with a co-riparian state.
  • Denial of hydrological data becomes critical when the flow in the river is very high.
  • China is contemplating northward re-routing of the Yarlung Zangbo.
  • Diversion of the Brahmaputra is an idea China does not discuss in public, because it implies devastating India’s northeastern plains and Bangladesh, either with floods or reduced water flow.