India Pushing for a Water Treaty with China?

This is indeed very interesting, welcome news if India starts pushing China for a water sharing treaty:

http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=feb1113%2Fat08
India for water sharing pact with China
Feb 10 – Water is emerging as a new possible irritant between China and India, which has proposed a bilateral mechanism to deal with it, reports PTI.

In a significant move, India is pressing China to have either a water commission or an inter-governmental dialogue or an treaty to deal with water issues between the two countries.

This comes in the wake of Chinese move to approve construction of three more dams on Brahmaputra river in Tibet, in addition to the one being built without informing New Delhi.

Following the Chinese move, a high-level inter- ministerial committee, comprising officials from External Affairs Ministry, Defence Ministry, Department of Space among others met here to take stock of the situation and decided to take it up with China.

The issue was once again taken up when a senior Chinese embassy official met MEA officials to give details on the construction proposal.

“Though, the issue (of having a bilateral mechanism) has been part of our discussions earlier also, the recent move by Beijing has further pushed the matter. There is a need for some mechanism to deal with water issues between the two countries on the lines of what India has with other countries like Pakistan,” sources told PTI.

While India has an Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan under which the two countries share information and cooperate on the matter, a Ganges Treaty with Bangladesh establishes a 30-year water-sharing arrangement and recognises the neighbouring country’s rights as a lower-level riparian.

Recently, the Chinese cabinet had approved a document which mentions construction of three dams at Dagu, Jiacha and Jiexu on Brahmaputra.

Reacting to the Chinese move, the official spokesperson in MEA has said India carefully monitors all developments on the Brahmaputra river. “As a lower riparian state with considerable established user rights to the waters of the river, India has conveyed its views and concerns to the Chinese authorities, including at the highest levels.”

The official spokesperson also stressed the need for China to ensure that the interests of downstream states are not harmed by any activities in upstream areas.Image

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