China’s water hegemony in Asia4 min read . Updated: 27 Apr 2016, 02:56 AM IST
It wasn't geography but guns that established China's chokehold on major transnational river systems in Asia
A severe drought currently ravaging South-east and South Asia has helped spotlight China’s emergence as the upstream water controller in Asia through a globally unparalleled hydro-engineering infrastructure centred on damming rivers. Indeed, Beijing itself has highlighted its water hegemony over downstream countries by releasing some dammed water for drought-hit nations in the lower Mekong river basin. In releasing what it called “emergency water flows" to downstream states over several weeks from one of its six giant dams—located just before the Mekong flows out of Chinese territory—China brashly touted the utility of its upstream structures in fighting droughts and floods.