China to construct 3 more dams on the Brahmaputra, leaves India in dark

China dam

China has approved construction of three more dams on Brahmaputra river in Tibet in addition to the one being built, and much to the disquiet of India, it has not been informed about the plans so far.

A document approved by the Chinese cabinet recently mentioned three dams to be built at Dagu, Jiacha and Jiexu on Brahmaputra, Indian officials here said.

The document listing projects to be completed in China's 12th five year plan made a passing reference to the three dams without any details, they said.

India has not been informed about the move so far, they said here.

Asked about the plans to build the dams, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei told a media briefing here that "China has always taken a responsible attitude towards the development of cross border rivers".

"Any new project has to go through scientific planning and study with consideration of the interests of lower and upper stream countries", he said.

Brahmaputra river is known as as Yarlung Zangbo in China.

Asked whether plans to build the dams have been approved and whether India and Bangladesh, which were lower riparian countries of the river, have been informed, Hong said he needs to get specific information.

Beijing's decision comes at a time when India-China relations have improved considerably in all areas of cooperation and the two countries held lengthy round of the bilateral exchanges during National Security Advisor, Shivshankar Menon's visit here with his Chinese counterpart Dai Bingguo. Sharing of cross border river waters has figured in the discussions but apparently China has not informed India of its plans to build the dams.

In his interactions with media after the talks, Menon has spoken about the two sides discussing water flows and China assurance that nothing what it is doing will affect the flows.

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