Spokesperson of Chinese Embassy in India Counselor Xie Liyan Clarifies the Causes of Water Quality Problems in Certain Sections of the Brahmaputra River

Recently, the Indian media has been reporting that project constructions by the Chinese side in the upper Yarlung Tsangpo river region may have caused water in some parts of the Brahmaputra river to turn black. After the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson made clarifications, there were still reports claiming that earthquakes occurred in Tibet of China resulted in the formation of three huge artificial lakes in the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Bend Region, posing threats to Assam and other places along the Brahmaputra river.

According to the investigations by relevant departments of China, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake stuck Milin County of Nyingchi City in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China at 6 a.m. on November 18th, 2017. The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Bend Region was seriously affected by the earthquake, resulting in shattered land surface, reduced vegetation, and soil exposure. Massive landslide and collapsing occurred along the Yarlung Zangbo river range, causing negative impacts on water quality of the river. Indeed, water in the Motuo sector of the Yarlung Zangbo River turned turbid. However, according to analysis of satellite images, environmental and hydrological data, there have been no large-scale human activities around relevant sections of the Yarlung Zangbo river. The change of color of water in the lower reaches of the river should have been caused by natural factors including earthquakes, rather than man-made incidents, and there were no artificial lakes in relevant parts of the Yarlung Zangbo river. The Chinese side will stay in touch with the Indian side on the issue concerning trans-border rivers through existing channels.

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