China communicating with India on cross-border river issue: Official

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Monday said China is maintaining sound communication with India on exploiting the Yarlung Zangbo river.

IANS| Last Updated: Nov 24, 2014, 21:54 PM IST

Beijing: A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Monday said China is maintaining sound communication with India on exploiting the Yarlung Zangbo river.

Hua Chunying made the remarks when asked to respond to the claim that a new hydropower station and other planned stations on the river, known as Brahmaputra after it enters India, could have an environmental impact downstream in India and Bangladesh, Xinhua reported.

Tibet`s largest hydropower station became partly operational Sunday.

The Chinese side always took a responsible attitude towards the exploitation of cross-border rivers, said Hua at a routine press briefing.

China was committed to carrying out development and protection at the same time and has given full consideration to the impact on the river`s lower reaches, she said.

Media reports have said China planned to build three hydropower stations on the middle reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river. The reports quoted China`s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).

Hua said construction of the planned hydropower stations would not affect flood control or the ecology on the lower reaches.

China and India have maintained sound communication and cooperation on trans-border river issues, she said, adding that China has done a lot in providing hydrological data for India in accordance with humanitarian spirit and in handling emergencies, said Hua.

The practices have proved that the flood control cooperation and emergency management between China and India were effective, she said.

In a joint statement released during Chinese President Xi Jinping`s visit to India in September, the Indian side also thanked China for its assistance in offering hydrological data and in dealing with emergencies, said the spokeswoman.

China and India have kept sound communication through expert meetings since the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on trans-border rivers in 2013, she said.

Under the MOU, China and India agreed to work together on provision of flood-season hydrological data and emergency management and exchange views on other issues of mutual interest.

With an average altitude of 4,500 metres, the Yarlung Zangbo river is the highest river in the world. It originates in the glacial regions of the northern Himalayas, runs 2,057 km through southwest China`s Tibet Autonomous Region, passes into India and finally meets the Indian Ocean in the Bay of Bengal.