Beijing: Claiming that its hydropower project on Brahmaputra river in Tibet was not obstructing the water flow to India, China on Friday said its dam was "not big" enough to affect the lower riparian regions.
"...You might have noted, Foreign Minister (SM) Krishna and other Indian officials have remarked to the knowledge of Indian government, China has not developed new hydroprojects on the river," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a
media briefing here.
"Our projects have not affected the lower stream regions. Overall, the utilisation of Chinese side of the Tsangpo River (Tibetan name for Brahmaputra) is very low and the river in concern has only been developed (to utilise) less than one percent" of water, he said.
His comments follow remarks by a spokesman of Arunachal Pradsh government that the Brahmaputra river was suddenly found to have almost dried up at a town in the state.
People of century-old Pasighat town in East Siang district of the state found that the water level of the river receded so much that it almost dried, Tako Dabi had said.
On his part, Hong said that the Chinese side built Zangmu dam in the middle part of the river, but this hydro project "is not of a big capacity and has no need for storage of water and it will not affect the ecology and environment."
Hong said the Chinese side has briefed India, which has expressed "understanding" on the matter.
"The Chinese government always adhered to the principle of fairness, reasonableness and equal attention to development and protection of the interests of the lower stream regions," he said.
According to Chinese scientists, the Brahmaputra river originates from Angsi Glacier, located on the northern side of the Himalayas in Burang County of Tibet.
The river is 3,848 km long and its drainage area is 712,035 square km, says a study conducted last year.
From Tibet, it flows to India and from there on to Bangladesh.
India and China have an agreement to exchange data on water flows of Brahmaputra river.