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China rejects report of planned tunnel to divert Brahmaputra waters

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China denied a media report on Tuesday as “false and untrue” after it said Beijing 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. South China Morning post, based in Hong-Kong, on Monday reported that engineers in China were testing out different techniques that could potentially be used to build the tunnel.

When asked about the media report, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua chunying denied it. He was quoted by PTI as saying: “This is untrue. This is a false report.” The foreign ministry spokesperson added that China will continue to attach great importance to cross- border river cooperation. As per the report, the proposed tunnel would drop down from the world’s highest plateau in numerous sections connected by waterfalls. This would provide water to China’s largest administrative division, which comprises of vast swathes of deserts and dry grasslands.

The report said 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. 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 been assuring India and Bangladesh that its dams were not designed to storing water.(Agencies)

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