October 31, 2017
   Posted in News From Other Sites

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.

By the Economic Times, Indiatimes.

Read original story here.

After Doklam, China and India seems to be heading towards yet another flashpoint as Beijing is reportedly working on an ambitious plan to divert waters of the Brahmaputra river to the barren region of Xinjiang in its northwest region. China is reportedly planning a 1,000 km tunnel for the same, which will be the world’s longest.

China is testing its capability to build such a tunnel in a smaller project.

China has started building a tunnel in the centre of its Yunnan province in August that will be more than 600 km long. According to a report in South China Morning Post, Chinese engineers are testing techniques in the Yunnan project to build the tunnel that will carry water from Yarlung Tsangpo from Tibet to Xinjiang.

Brahmaputra, which originates in Tibet, is called Yarlung Tsangpo in China. The tunnel would drop down from the Tibetan plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls.

The report cited a geotechnical engineer saying that the proposed tunnel would “turn Xinjiang into California”. Researchers told South China Morning Post that building the Yunnan tunnel would be a “rehearsal” of the new technology, engineering methods and equipment needed for the Tibet-Xinjiang tunnel.

India already feels threatened by China’s projects in the Tibetan plateau to reduce river flows into India. 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.

In 2013, India complained to China about its hydro projects on the Brahmaputra.

Recently, China declared it was building a dam on a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo. In 2001, an artificial dam in Tibet collapsed and killed 26 people and damaged property of Rs 140 crore along the river Siang in Arunachal Pradesh.

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.

 

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