China to restart sharing hydrological data on Brahmaputra with India

China released a confirmation that it will resume sharing data with India pertaining to the hydrological data of the Brahmaputra River. This comes after top water resource officials of the two countries met for two-day talks. It is also the first time after Beijing last year had put a halt on providing data to predict floods. China had stopped sharing data after the 73-day long Doklam standoff.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang talked to the media. He said, “On the basis of humanitarian spirit and our shared will to develop bilateral ties we will continue with the cooperation on hydrological information cooperation.”

Officials of India’s Ministry of Water Resources and their Chinese counterparts had a talk. The talk resulted in the cooperation on trans-border Rivers.

Lu said that China will continue with the cooperation on hydrological information cooperation.

The two-day talks of the 11th meeting of the India-China Expert Level Mechanism (ELM) on Trans-Border Rivers concluded yesterday at Hangzhou, a statement from the Indian Embassy here said today.

The Indian side was led by Teerath Singh Mehra, Commissioner (B&B), Ministry of Water Resources and the Chinese side by Yu Xingjun, Consul, Department of International Cooperation Science and Technology, Ministry of Water Resources.

The cordial and friendly meeting reviewed the progress made since the earlier meetings. It also continued cooperation on provision of hydrological information and emergency management in respect of trans-border Rivers. Also reviewed was the data utilization report on provision of hydrological information in flood season on Brahmaputra and Sutlej Rivers.

The existing bilateral Memorandums of Understanding make China provide India with hydrological information of Brahmaputra River (Yarlong Zangbo) and Sutlej River (Langqen Zangbo) during the flood seasons.

In addition, China also provides flood season data of the Brahmaputra River between May 15 and October 15 every year. Major dams have been built on Brahmaputra River by China to generate hydel power. It operationalised Zangmu hydroelectric project in October, 2015 and three more are under construction.

The data shared to India and Bangladesh is essential every monsoon. The data will allow anticipation of the flow of the water and. Also necessary measures to deal with flooding in India’s north-eastern States would be taken.