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China less than enthusiastic to Indian proposal on water issue



Updated On - Monday, 26 August 2013

20 August 2013

NEW DELHI: India today elicited "less than enthusiastic" response from China on its proposal to have a separate mechanism to deal with water issues amid its continued concerns over Chinese damming activities on Brahmaputra.

During the 5th round of India-China Strategic Dialogue, the Indian side led by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh raised the issue of its proposal pending with China to have either a water commission or an inter-governmental dialogue to deal with water issues.

To this, India received "less than enthusiastic" response from China, which has been maintaining that the existing Expert Level Mechanism (ELM) under which the two countries only share hydrological information (water level, discharge and rainfall) on Yaluzangbu/ Brahmaputra river in flood season was enough, according to sources.

As per the official release from the Ministry of External Affairs, the two sides discussed several issues including enhancing understanding on the utilisation of trans-border river waters.

Concerned over Chinese damming activities, including proposal for construction of three more dams, India has been pressing China to have either a treaty or a water commission or an inter-governmental dialogue to deal with water issues.

India has been protesting Chinese dam constructions on River Brahmaputra (known as Tsangpo in China) and the issue has figured in the bilateral talks between India and China at various levels, including at a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit in Durban in March.

Published by: The Economic Times

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