New Delhi: According to a report in 2016, China has built 87,000 dams. The question is, why does China needs so many dams. News reports have alleged that it wants to turn water into a weapon. The 2013 map of China shows 100 dams in various stages of construction on the Yangtze river and its tributaries. The current status has not been verified yet, Wionews has reported.
Here are some specific examples which are crucial and of vital importance to the South East Asian Countries.
The Mekong River
Mekong is the world’s twelfth longest river and seventh longest in Asia. It is also called as Lasagongma river in China. It is a transboundary river in East Asia and South Asia. The Mekong river flows from South Western China to five countries; Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. China has built at least 11 Dams which can control the fate of 60 million people in South East Asia.
The Brahmaputra river
The Brahmaputra river is also called as Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, Siang/Dihang River in Arunachal Pradesh and Luit Dialo in Assam. It is a transboundary river which flows through Tibet, India and Bangladesh.
China has built the Zangamu Dam in 2015, which is located a few kilometers from Bhutan-India border. It is on the Brahmaputra river but on the Chinese side. The Dam was operationalized in 2015. Three other Dams are also under construction on the same river. The Brahmaputra originates in Tibet and flows in to Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and finally into the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh.
How china is planning to weaponize these rivers
Many rivers originate in China and flow their way down into 18 different countries. Having this as an advantage, China is exploiting its resources to create an extensive dam infrastructure which will regulate where and how much water flows into its neighbouring countries. This benefit acts as a weapon to China. With these dams, China can control water and release it at its will. It has the power to manufacture floods, to turn off the taps and trigger droughts as well. Says Wionews.
The kind of damage China can cause is of great concern to South Asian countries. Free flowing rivers can go dry, which in turn, will kill river ecosystems, trees, plants, fish, live species and obviously, the people. The settlers along these rivers, are more prone towards these dangers that China may cause.
This discrepancy of power along with China’s evil plans will jeopardize its neighbouring countries. Last year, when the Mekong river began to dry China blamed it on the insufficient rainfall. The drought resulted in a hurting damage to Thailand which it never experienced in 40 years. Furthermore, rice fields in Vietnam were damaged. China had triggered a drought and lied to the world about low rainfall while there was abundant water available at the origin of Mekong river. There are proofs from satellite images, how China uses its dams to stop the flow of water and uses reservoirs to store water.
The Nuozhadu Dam on the Mekong river is seen to have not much water through satellite images in May 2019. But by April 2020, the reservoir is full. The question arises, where did all the water come from?
Since Asia is the one of the driest continent in the world and that water is now slowly becoming a critical resource, China’s actions have become a matter of concern.
War will be fought over water
Journalist Steven Solomon had said that in the 21st century, wars will be fought over water. He had said, “China is battle ready in water war and the world should prepare”.
Rajendra Singh, known as the water man of India believes that ‘the Third World War will be about water’.