Beijing: China on Tuesday reduced India’s concerns by saying that it will adopt a "responsible" attitude taking into "full consideration" the interest of downstream countries.

The Chinese government also indicated that it would not carry out projects to divert the waters of the Brahmaputra river, and would take into “full consideration” the interests of downstream countries in taking forward development projects on the river.

"China adopts a responsible attitude towards the development of cross border water resources," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei told a media briefing here.

He was answering a question on concerns in India over Beijing's plans to build a dam on Brahmaputra resulting in diversion of waters.

"We adopt a policy that protection goes together with development, and take into full consideration the interests of downstream countries," he said.

While China has been directly assuring India for over an year that it would build run of the river dam on Brahmaputra, reports that a series of such dams could result in water erosion again raised concerns in India as some of the Chinese experts have been suggesting a number of dams which could generate a high degree of power.

In March, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu said China proposed to build a dam on Brahmaputra but not a "very big one" to cause concern for neighbouring countries
India and Bangladesh, which avail the waters.

"At present, the hydro power station on the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) river is not a very big one and will not lead to any big change in the downstream water levels or affect the harnessing efforts by the downstream countries," she said.

China dam project not a concern: India

Toning down the apprehensions for the dam being constructed by China on river
Brahmaputra, MEA SM Krishna on Tuesday said the project is not a cause for immediate alarm to India.

"It is a fact that China is constructing a dam at Zangmu in middle reaches of Yarlung Tsango (as Brahmaputra is called in Tibet). We have ascertained from our own sources
that this a run of the river hydro-electric project which does not store water and will not adversely impact downstream areas in India," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said.

"Therefore, I believe there is no cause for immediate alarm," he told reporters while replying to a question on reports of construction of a dam by China on Brahmaputra
River.

Krishna also said that recent reports about Chinese plans to construct a dam on the Brahmaputra and possibly divert the river waters to Northern China are "not new but
based on previously known facts".

Noting that a large portion of the catchment area of Brahmaputra is within Indian territory, Krishna said, "It is important that states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam harness and utilise the waters of Brahmaputra. This is a really a very important issue."

Krishna, who left for Kazakhstan on Tuesday to attend the Sanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, said he was not sure whether bilateral issues between India and China would be raised there. "But nonetheless, let me assure my countrymen that India is very closely monitoring all the movements and as I said it is for Arunachal Pradesh and Assam to utilise the full potential of Brahmaputra water," Krishna said.

On some Arunachal ministers raising fears about a Kargil-like situation in the state, he asserted that India's defence capabilities were second to none in defending the borders.

"I think the security, the defence of our borders is being constantly monitored, not only by the Ministry of Defence but by other agencies. It is our conviction that India's defence capabilities are second to none in defending our border," he said.


JPN/Agencies