China will construct a “tremendous” dam on the decrease reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river near the Line of Precise Management (LAC) in Tibet, a state media report mentioned on Sunday, in a transfer that would have a far-reaching influence on northeast India’s water safety.
Originating within the Tibet Autonomous Area (TAR), the trans-border Yarlung Zangbo flows into Arunachal Pradesh the place it’s known as Siang after which to Assam as Brahmaputra earlier than flowing into Bangladesh.
The state media report indicated that the dam might come up within the Medog county of TAR, which is near Arunachal Pradesh.
China has already constructed a number of smaller dams on the Yarlung Zangbo river.
The brand new dam’s potential to generate hydropower might be thrice that of central China’s Three Gorges Dam, which has the most important put in hydropower capability on the earth.
The brand new dam might be constructed with deal with sustaining China’s nationwide safety.
“China will construct a hydropower undertaking on the Yarlung Zangbo River, one of many main waters in Asia that additionally passes by way of India and Bangladesh,” the state-run tabloid World Occasions mentioned in a report on Sunday night.
“There isn’t a parallel in historical past (of the undertaking… will probably be a historic alternative for the Chinese language hydropower business,” Yan Zhiyong, chairman of the Energy Building Corp of China, or Powerchina mentioned at a convention final week.
The preliminary work on the dam started with Powerchina on October 16 signing a strategic cooperation settlement masking the 14th 5-Yr Plan with the TAR authorities.
The information concerning the brand new dam was printed on an official social media platform of the ruling Communist Get together of China’s (CPC) Youth League final week.
Yan added that the hydropower exploitation of the Yarlung Zangbo river downstream “is greater than a hydropower undertaking. It is usually significant for the surroundings, nationwide safety, residing requirements, power and worldwide cooperation.”
China will “implement hydropower exploitation within the downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo river,” Yan mentioned, including that the plan put ahead within the proposals for formulating the nation’s 14th 5-Yr Plan (2021-25) and its long-term targets by way of 2035 made by the CPC’s Central Committee.
In response to Yan, the 60 million kWh hydropower exploitation on the downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo river might present 300 billion kWh of unpolluted, renewable and zero-carbon electrical energy yearly.
“The undertaking will play a major position in realising China’s aim of reaching a carbon emissions peak earlier than 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060,” Yan mentioned.
“Speculations about China planning to construct a ‘tremendous hydropower station’ in Medog county, the place the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon is positioned, have circulated for years. Medog, with a inhabitants of about 14,000, was China’s final county to be related to the skin world with a freeway,” the World Occasions report mentioned.
Lecturers have lengthy identified China’s strategic benefit over India by way of worldwide transboundary rivers.
“China has claimed categorical possession over Tibet’s waters, making it an upstream controller of seven of South Asia’s mightiest rivers – the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween, Yangtze, and Mekong. These rivers stream into Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, and kind the most important river run-off from any single location…Practically half that water, 48%, runs instantly into India,” a Lowy Institute report mentioned in July this 12 months within the backdrop of the continuing India-China border friction in jap Ladakh.
India and China have a water knowledge sharing settlement.
In 2017, China had stopped sharing knowledge quickly after the 73-day lengthy stand-off between Indian and Chinese language troops at Doklam close to the Sikkim border over Chinese language navy’s plans to construct a highway near India’s Hen Neck hall connecting North-Jap states.
In 2018, a MoU was inked between China’s Ministry of Water Assets and India’s Ministry of Water Assets, River Growth and Ganga Rejuvenation on sharing hydrological data of the Brahmaputra river in flood season by China to India.
The settlement permits China to offer hydrological knowledge in flood season from Might 15 to October 15 yearly. It additionally permits the Chinese language facet to offer hydrological knowledge if water stage exceeds mutually agreed stage throughout non-flood season.
Beijing additionally shares knowledge on rivers flowing into north India.
However the apprehension that China might “weaponise” cross-border rivers stays.
“For India, the one area wherein China’s standing because the “higher riparian” supplies an virtually insurmountable problem is in guaranteeing shared entry to transboundary rivers. And because the current clashes on the Sino-Indian border have made clear, India must assess how China would possibly “weaponise” its benefit over these nations downstream. Management over these rivers successfully offers China a chokehold on India’s economic system,” the July Lowy report added.
The World Occasions report quoted an knowledgeable saying that dams on cross-border initiatives can’t be developed with out the cooperation between upstream and downstream nations.
“Hydropower initiatives on cross-border rivers can’t be developed with out communication and cooperation between upstream and downstream nations,” Lin Boqiang, director of the China Heart for Vitality Economics Analysis at Xiamen College, instructed the tabloid.
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