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“China’s 5-year plan” and India’s Concerns

What is the News?

China formally approves the outline of its 14th 5-year plan (2021-25). Some proposed projects in China’s 5-year plan are the cause of concern for India.

What are the key Concerns for India in China’s 5-year plan?

 Dam on Lower Reaches of Brahmaputra River:

  • China’s 5-year plan approves the construction of a dam and hydropower plant on the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river (Brahmaputra River). It will be located in Tibet close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh. This is the first project in the lower reaches of the river.
    • The lower reaches refer to the sections of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet before it flows into India.
  • The proposed dam is located near the Great Bend of the Brahmaputra River. It may impact the ecologically sensitive canyon located near Arunachal Pradesh.

Earlier Dams:

  • Earlier, four dams have been approved on the upper and middle reaches of the Brahmaputra River. On these dams, India has already expressed concerns.
  • However, the impact of these dams on downstream flows is not clear. India is currently studying it as with an estimated 35% of its basin in India, the Brahmaputra river is not entirely dependent on upstream flows.

Sichuan-Tibet railway line near the India border:

  • China’s 5-year plan proposes to construct a Railway line. This railway line is a strategic infrastructure project for China as it aims to connect Sichuan to Tibet.
  • Concerns for India:
    • Nepal: This railway line is called an advance preparatory work for building a railway line from Tibet to Gyirong along the Tibet-Nepal border. This is part of an already agreed plan to build a cross-border railway link connecting China and Nepal.
    • Near the Border: The railway line lies just across from Arunachal Pradesh. It will become the second major rail link from China’s hinterland to Tibet.

Source: The Hindu

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