China Denies Reports of 1000-Km Tunnel to Divert Brahmaputra Water
China has denied reports that they were testing ways to build a tunnel to divert water from Brahmaputra to Xinjiang.
China rejected a media report that it was planning to build a 1,000-km-long tunnel to divert water from the Brahmaputra river in Tibet, close to Arunachal Pradesh, to the parched Xinjiang region.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has called the report “false and baseless”.
Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on 30 October that Chinese engineers were testing techniques that could be used to build the tunnel, the world's longest.
“This is untrue. This is a false report,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing when asked about the report.
“China will continue to attach great importance to cross-border river cooperation,” she said.
According to the report, the proposed tunnel, which would drop down from the world's highest plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls, would provide water to China's largest administrative division, comprising vast swathes of deserts and dry grasslands.
The water would be diverted from the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet, which turns into the river Brahmaputra once it enters India, to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang, the report had said.
India as riparian state has already flagged its concerns to China, about various dams being built by it on the Brahmaputra river, which is known in China as Yarlung Tsangpo.
Beijing has repeatedly assured India and Bangladesh that its dams were not designed to store water.
The original report also claimed that the Chinese government had started building a tunnel in the centre of the Yunnan province in August that will be more than 600-km long.
Researchers said building the Yunnan tunnel would be a “rehearsal” of the new technology, engineering methods, and equipment needed for the Tibet-Xinjiang tunnel, which would divert the Brahmaputra river to the Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang, the report said.
(This story has been edited to reflect China’s response as per the updated PTI report.)
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