Lhasa [Tibet]: China is trying to create a “hydro-hegemony” to dominate the water economy and ecology in the south and south-east Asia by pursuing a series of mega-dam projects over rivers in Tibet, a media report said.
Since Tibet’s occupation, China has disrupted the natural flow of rivers by pursuing a series of ill-conceived environmental and developmental policies such as the Great Leap Forward, the South-North Water Diversion Project, etc., the report said, adding that this has led to a dam-building spree on the Tibetan plateau with disastrous impacts on Asia’s major rivers.
China is now home to over 30,000 dams which is more than the total number of dams in the rest of the world put together, the report in Global order said.
Due to these mega-dams, many countries, especially those in the downstream regions, have now started to express serious concerns over the geopolitical implications of China’s unnatural appetite for dams.
India, China’s southern neighbour, is particularly concerned about China’s recent plans to build a mega-dam on the Brahmaputra. This super dam that China is planning in Metok County (historically Tibet’s Pema Koe region) is expected to be much larger than the Three Gorges Dam – the world’s current largest power station, the report said.
With the completion of this mega-dam, the report said that China would wield enormous leverage over India and Bangladesh’s water economy and ecology, raising fears that this mega-dam could cause mega problems for everyone involved.
The concerns being raised are not without precedent, the report said, referring to a series of dams built along the Mekong River in China’s Yunnan province in the 1990s.
The report said that China used the dams to cut back almost 50 per cent of the Mekong river flow in early 2021, causing serious economic strife in Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar.
A 2019 study by the ecological research and consulting firm Eyes on Earth confirmed China’s use of dams to cause serious droughts along the lower Mekong by holding back large quantities of water.
The ecological and security situation caused by these dams is made even more critical by the fact that, other than India, almost all of the riparian countries in China’s neighbourhood are economically and technologically weak and are also ill-equipped to deal with a sudden and severe water crisis caused by such upstream mega-dams.
Already having a powerful political and financial leverage over these countries, with its control of freshwater dams, China now enjoys an asymmetric power over its neighbours, the report said.
Taking cognizance of the critical matter, the exile Tibetan Parliament passed an official resolution during its third session last month on the situation of Tibet’s environment, the report said.
It resolved to highlight China’s damming of Asian rivers and apprise world leaders, including India’s diplomatic and political leadership, on Tibet’s environment’s significance.
The report concluded that China’s hydro hegemony based on the control of the Tibetan plateau could spell economic and ecological, not to mention humanitarian, disasters in the region. (ANI)