Chinese parliament on Thursday adopted the 14th five-year plan that envisages, among projects worth billions of dollars, a controversial hydropower dam on the Brahmaputra river in Tibet, close to the Arunachal Pradesh border. If implemented, it could be the next flashpoint with India in what seems to be China’s deliberate actions to provoke neighbouring countries.
Both India and Bangladesh, lower riparian states, have been concerned about any dam in the lower reaches of the river locally known as Yarlung Zangbo. While it still has to be ascertained if the project will lead to any diversion of water, sources in New Delhi said the government remains engaged with China under the 2006 expert level mechanism, and also through diplomatic channels, on developments related to the Brahmaputra.
India has consistently conveyed its concerns to China regarding Brahmaputra and the Chinese plans for projects which has the potential to affect Indian interests. While stating that hydropower development in the lower reaches was China’s legitimate right, China had then also said all such projects went through “science-based planning and assessment” giving full consideration to impact downstream.
Reports from Beijing said the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature with over 2,000 members, adopted the plan in the presence of President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiand and other senior leaders.
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