- China will build the hydropower project on Brahmaputra River in Tibet
- The proposal for this has been clearly set forth in the 14th Five-Year Plan to be implemented from next year
- The project has raised issues in India as well as Bangladesh
In yet a provocation in the midst of the ongoing Indo-China standoff, Beijing is pushing forward with plans to construct a hydropower project on the Brahmaputra River in Tibet that is likely to have an impact on lower Riparian India and Bangladesh.
The proposal for the same has been made in the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan and is scheduled to be implemented from next year.
As quoted to Global Times, the chairman of the Power Construction Corp of China (Powerchina), which is charged with the construction of the project Yan Zhiyong, “China will implement the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) hydroelectric project downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo River (Tibetan name for Brahmaputra) and its long-term objectives by 2035 set by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China,”
“The project could serve to maintain water resources and domestic security,” added Yan while speaking about the project at a conference on Thursday.
The hydropower station could generate revenue for the Tibet Autonomous Region of 20 billion yuan (USD 3 billion) annually, he said.
In history, there is no parallel… Yan said the conference organised to mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering will be a historic opportunity for the Chinese hydropower industry.
Last month, Plenum – a main policy body of the CPC – adopted the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and National Economic and Social Growth and the Long-Range Goals Through the Year 2035.
Information of the proposal was scheduled to be published early next year following the formal adoption by the National People’s Congress (NPC).
In India and Bangladesh, the riparian states, and China, plans for dams on Brahmaputra have raised fears, undermining those anxieties, saying it will hold their interests in mind.
As a Lower Riparian Territory, under international law, India has access to the waters of trans-border rivers. The Indian government has expressed its concerns to Beijing previously and urged it to ensure that any activity in upstream areas does not affect the interests of downstream states.
The USD 1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station, the largest in Tibet in 2015, has already been operationalised by China.
The Global Times article on the new dam said that rumors had been circulating for years about China wanting to construct a “super hydropower station” in Medog County, where the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon is located.
Medog is the last county in Tibet bordering Arunachal Pradesh thus creating enormous concern for India.