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Current Affairs 2023

Mabja Zangbo - UPSC Current Affairs

China's construction of a new dam on the Mabja Zangbo river in Tibet, close to the India-China-Nepal tri-junction, has raised concerns about water availability and potential military presence in the region. It could exacerbate tensions between China and its neighboring countries.

Jan 22, 2023

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China's recent construction of a new dam on the Mabja Zangbo river in Tibet, close to the tri-junction of India, China and Nepal, has raised concerns among both India and Nepal. The new dam is located around 16 km north of the tri-junction and is opposite the Kalapani area of Uttarakhand, according to sources in the security establishment.

 

The Mabja Zangbo river, also known as the Mabja Tsangpo, originates in Nagari county of Tibet, flows through Nepal and into the Ghaghara river before joining the Ganges in India. The construction of the dam has the potential to significantly impact the water flow and availability in the region, as well as raise concerns about China's control over water resources.

 

Satellite imagery shared by a geospatial intelligence researcher on Twitter shows the construction of the dam, which began in May 2021 in the Burang county of Tibet that shares its border with Nepal. The images show the formation of an embankment type dam with a reservoir.

 

The construction of the dam not only has the potential to impact water availability, but also raises the possibility of a military establishment by China near the tri-junction. This is of concern, as China has a history of using dams as leverage in territorial disputes and as a means to strengthen its claim on disputed areas. In 2021, China announced plans to construct a massive dam on the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river, which is known as the Brahmaputra in India, in order to generate up to 70 GW of power.

 

This construction is likely to raise concerns in India and Nepal, as well as raise questions about the potential impact on the environment, and the potential for water scarcity in the region. Additionally, the dam has the potential to exacerbate tensions between China and its neighboring countries, particularly India and Nepal, as it is located in a region that is already a source of territorial disputes.

 

In conclusion, China's construction of a new dam on the Mabja Zangbo river in Tibet, close to the tri-junction of India, China, and Nepal, is a matter of concern for all the three countries. The construction of this dam has the potential to impact water flow and availability in the region, as well as raise concerns about China's control over water resources. Furthermore, the possibility of a military establishment by China near the tri-junction cannot be ruled out, which could exacerbate tensions between China and its neighboring countries. It is important for all the nations involved to closely monitor the situation and engage in diplomatic efforts to address the issue.

 

Based on a report in the Hindu titled 'China builds new dam in Tibet near Indian border'.

 

Image: Sherparinji, Wikimedia Commons

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