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India, China ink agreement on trans-border rivers

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 21:45

Beijing: India and China on Wednesday signed a new agreement to strengthen cooperation on trans-border rivers aimed at allaying India`s concerns over new dams on the Brahmaputra and facilitating the exchange of flood data.

The agreement, signed after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, said both countries agreed to strengthen their cooperation further on the trans-border rivers through the existing Expert Level Mechanism to provide flood-season data and emergency management.

Under the new agreement, Chinese side agreed to provide more flood data of Brahmaputra from May to October instead of June to October in the previous agreements river water agreements in 2008 and 2010.

China also assured India that it will take into account its concerns on issues on trans-border rivers like Brahmaputra and Sutlej.

The assurance was given by President Xi Jinping when Singh met him here today and discussed various issues.

Briefing reporters on the meeting, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said India was happy about the signing of agreement with China this morning on sharing hydrological information data trans-border rivers like Brahmaputra and Sutlej.

"President Xi told Prime Minister that they will take into account our concerns," she said.

When asked about China`s sincerity in cooperating in the matter, she said India was getting the data, now its period has to be expanded.

The significance of the agreement today is that we have opened up whole new possibility in this area, she said.

India has been expressing concerns over China`s plans to construct more dams which New Delhi fears could restrict the flows of the Himalayan river flowing from Tibet.

China for its parts assured India that its dams are run of the river projects not designed to hold water.

In addition to the river water agreement, India and China today inked several agreements on establishment of Nalanda University at Rajgir in Bihar for which China is one of the participating countries.

The side also signed agreements to strengthen cultural exchange programme, Cooperation in Road Transport and Highways, Chinese power equipment service centres in India and agreements to establishing sister city relationships between Delhi-Beijing and Bangalore and Chengdu and Kolkata and Kunming.

First Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 20:05

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