On Wednesday China announced that it will restart sharing hydrological data of Brahmaputra river with India. It is conveyed by the top water resource officials of the two countries and discussed in two-day talks. It is the first discussion that took place after a year. Last year the Beijing stopped providing the hydrological data which is very crucial for the prediction of floods.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang gave a statement to media. He said that during the talks the two sides studied the attainments of the earlier meetings as well as bilateral assistance on the emergency, response and also hydrological information.

He further added “On the basis of humanitarian spirit and our shared will to develop bilateral ties.  We will continue with the cooperation on hydrological information cooperation.” Through this, he was replying to the question whether China will restart sharing of the hydrological data on Brahmaputra river or not.

A 73-day long stand-off between Indian and Chinese

As a year earlier Beijing had put off sharing of hydrological data with India. It is due to the up gradation of data gathering station in Tibet. The announcement of China’s regarding non-sharing of data came soon after the 73-day long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Dokalam. It is over the plan of Chinese military’s to construct a road which is near to  India’s Chicken Neck corridor. It connects North-Eastern states.

A meeting was held in a cordial and friendly environment

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

The meeting took place in a “cordial and friendly” atmosphere. In the meeting officials from both, the sides studied the development made since the previous meetings. The meeting of the ELM and their continued cooperation on the establishment of hydrological information and emergency management. It is related to trans-border rivers.

The officials also studied and analyzed the data utilization report upon establishment of hydrological information delivered by China to India. It is during the flood season on Sutlej and Brahmaputra Rivers.

The institutional mechanism of the ELM was established in 2006. It is made in order to figure out and discuss different issues with respect to trans-border rivers.

Under present bilateral Memorandums of Understanding. China provides to India hydrological information of Sutlej River (Langqen Zangbo) and Brahmaputra River (Yarlung Zangbo) during the flood seasons.

Key points-

  • This declaration came after top water resource officials of the two countries discussed on the cooperation of trans-border rivers.
  • Last year Beijing suspended the sharing of hydrological data with India due to up gradation of data gathering station in Tibet.
  • But now in order to maintain the healthy bilateral ties, China is ready to restart the hydrological data sharing on Brahmaputra river.


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