Hong Kong: An article in a Hongkong based newspaper warned that China is starting a water war with India, by building a dam on the Brahmaputra river. The article reminds that even Bangladesh, where the Brahmaputra flows, has registered its protest against the dam and India. Simultaneously, the article also points out that China has attempted to stop the water flowing into Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, by building 11 dams on the Mekong river.
A few days ago, the Indian Jal Shakti ministry had expressed concerns over the dam, being built by China, on the Brahmaputra river. The Jal Shakti ministry appealed that China should follow the international regulations in this matter. In the Jal Shakti ministry, the minister of state had informed that this issue would be raised during bilateral diplomatic talks with China. Researcher Bertil Lintner said that while the Indian and Chinese militaries are involved in a standoff on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, China is trying to show that it can hold the northeastern states at ransom by cutting off the water in the Brahmaputra river. But China will have to face serious consequences of this action. This will spark a water war between India and China.’
In the ‘Asia Times’, Lintner’s article, a newspaper published from Hongkong, carries detailed researched information and details regarding the construction being carried out by China on the Brahmaputra river. The origin of the Brahmaputra river is in Tibet. Taking advantage of this, China, situated at a height, is trying to teach India and Bangladesh, which lie on the slope of the river, by building this dam. China intends to corner India by blocking maximum water in the Brahmaputra river. China is not willing to share the information regarding the construction. Lintner claimed this is increasing mistrust between India and China.
The article also points out that China is holding the southeast Asian countries at ransom by building dams on China’s rivers. While there is major tension on the LAC in Ladakh, China is preparing to further aggravate India’s tension by building this dam on the Brahmaputra river. A water war may spark between India and China in the times to come.
Even in the past, China had reduced water discharge into the Brahmaputra river, but it had never informed India about it. Lintner pointed out that this affected water transport and the economic factors linked to it.
China is holding the southeast Asian countries at ransom, by controlling the water in the Mekong river. China expects cooperation from these countries, in its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Lintner claimed that China may resort to similar tactics even against India.