Chris Buckley, Reuters
November 22, 2006
Beijing: China’s top water official has dismissed claims that Beijing plans to divert a river that flows from Tibet into India to quench China’s needs, a proposal that added to tensions between the two parched Asian giants.
… The proposal to divert what becomes the Brahmaputra River has been promoted by a group of retired officials, and earlier this year it received a burst of publicity in a book entitled “Tibet’s Water Will Save China”. The book promoted a massive Great Western Route Water Transfer Project of tunnels and canals to draw water from high in Tibet and send it inland to western China, where economic development is shackled by water shortages.
Chinese officials have backed a smaller project that involves 300 kilometres (188 miles) of tunnels to tap the Yalong, Dadu and Jinsha Rivers that flow into southwest China but not South Asia. Liu Changming, a hydrologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences who has advised the government on these proposals, said there was no official backing for the Great Western Route.
“It’s just an idea that has floated around society, in books and media reports,” Liu told Reuters. “People are confusing the two plans, the smaller Western Route and the Great Western Route, and they’re mistaking private enthusiasm for official support.” … Read the full story.