Water Wars: The Next Clash between India and China
A China watcher named Claude Arpi has drawn attention to a recently posted article on the website of the Yellow River Conservancy Commission under China’s Ministry of Water Resources. The article speaks of the necessity and feasibility of diverting the waters of some rivers, including the Brahmaputra (called Yarlung Tsangpo in China), to meet water supply needs in China’s arid north and northwest. This further confirms the fact that, in spite of several denials, China is still progressing with the controversial project that could spell doom in not just large parts of India but Bangladesh as well.
If the article is to be believed, engineers in China’s Ministry of Water Resources have already completed a feasibility study. In 1999, Jiang Zemin, a former president of China, announced the grandiose “Great Western Extraction” plan which would transfer huge volume of water from Tibet to the Yellow River. In 2008, Prime Minister Singh raised the issue with the Chinese leadership, but Wen Jiabao, the then Chinese prime minister, replied that the water diversion plan was imperative due to China’s water insecurity.
Amitava Mukherjee is a contributor to Geopoliticalmonitor.com