China is on course to build a mega dam in Tibet that will produce triple the amount of electricity than the world’s largest power station Three Gorges. This dam will bridge across the Brahmaputra River and the waterways will thus flow into India after leaving the Himalayas.
This project is set to churn out around 300 billion kilowatts of electricity annually. The local Tibetan government had signed a ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ with hydroelectric project-specialist public construction company PowerChina regarding this project last October.
It is mentioned in China’s strategic 14th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in March at an annual rubber-stamp congress of the country’s top lawmakers.
However, this initiative reportedly threatens the migration of fish and also the flow of sediment that enhances the soil quality amidst the seasonal floods downstream.
“It may not be outlandish to conclude that the sanction given by China’s recently held National People’s Congress, the ceremonial legislature of the country, for construction of hydropower dams near the Great Bend of the Brahmaputra river (which the Chinese refer to as Yarlung Tsangpo) and a railway link from Yaan in Sichuan to Nyingchi in Tibet is an important component of Beijing’s overall security strategy in South Asia,” writes Amitava Mukherjee in his opinion piece published in The Diplomat.
“Suggestions have come from important quarters that hydroelectric dams near the Great Bend are only parts of President Xi Jinping’s efforts to absorb in infrastructure projects parts of idle Chinese workforce. But China has its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), being implemented in different parts of the globe. This can absorb much greater numbers of the country’s labor force than what hydropower stations in Tibet can do,” he wrote.
“Obviously, this Chinese initiative carried meaning. The Great Bend of the mighty river is situated in the Medog county of Tibet,” the journalist wrote.
He said China wants to maintain pressure on India.
Last October, the Tibet local government signed a “strategic cooperation agreement” with PowerChina, a public construction company specialising in hydroelectric projects.
Moreover, the area is known for its seismic activity and is referred to as a ‘ticking time bomb’ for residents downstream, Economic Times reports.