Putting aside the reports of a possible conflict with India by blocking a tributary of Brahmaputra river, Chinese official media has made it clear that Beijing is ready to join a multilateral cooperation mechanism with India and Bangladesh to share the waters.
Chhath Festival on the banks of the Brahmaputra River in Dibrugarh, Assam mjmorrissey
As of now China has no water treaty with India to share the river waters.
“It is easy to understand the anger of Indian people as they read recent news reports saying China had blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river. Frankly, there is no need for India to overreact to such projects, which aim to help with reasonable development and utilisation of water resources,” it said.
Chinese President Xi Jinpin japantimes
“It is clear the blockade to construct the dam does not target India, and relevant countries should not read too much into the move,” the write-up pointed out.
It said that China is the source of several trans-boundary rivers including the Lancang-Mekong River, which runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, it said, “If China blocked the Brahmaputra for political reasons, such a move would cause panic among the five Southeast Asian nations and therefore damage China’s relationship with them.”
In an unexpected note, it however said that realistically, people may need to make efforts to persuade India, rather than China, to accept a multilateral cooperation.
Brahmaputra River at Dakua mygola
The article also accused India of “making increasing efforts to exploit the Brahmaputra River through various forms”, in a bid to develop the river’s water resources.
“India may feel reluctant to establish a cooperation mechanism among the Brahmaputra’s riparian countries because such a mechanism is likely restrain India from moves that might hurt Bangladesh’s interests,” it said.