Beijing’s dam-building has faced criticism outside the country particularly on the Mekong River, which begins on the Tibetan Plateau in China and winds through Southeast Asia.
Zamlha believes Tibet’s resources such as the Yarlung Tsangpo and Mekong rivers were a key factor in the CCP’s decision to take control of Tibet more than 70 years ago.
The devastation will be unimaginable. How long before we realise that changing lightbulbs or eating plant-based diets is simply not enough without large-scale systemic change?
“It looks like China doesn’t care about people living downstream. The Mekong River is now low like this every year, and this has severe impacts on everyone living downstream.”
With its biggest customer increasingly alarmed by the impacts of large-scale hydropower and the viability of building dams becoming poorer and poorer, it is uncertain why Laos has clung to its hydropower ambitions quite so stubbornly.
A WEF nexus model for the Lancang-Mekong River Basin (LMRB) was developed to investigate the impacts of value preferences from riparian countries, reservoir operation policies, and future dam construction.
Murg’s work focuses on Chinese aid and investment policy in Southeast Asia; the political economy of foreign aid; and the politics of the Greater Mekong Sub-region as a whole.
Thailand has threatened to sink plans for a Chinese-developed dam planned for the Mekong River in neighboring Laos, in a rare rebuke that hints at a rising tide of dissension in an area where all three countries share Southeast Asia’s largest waterway.
The 2019-2020 drought that caused the lowest water level in recent history has affected riparian communities from Northern Thailand to the Vietnamese Delta. Using hydro meteorological data, we identified three key causes. One, the reduction of wet season flow by Chinese dams in the UMB. Two, an extreme dry year that further decreases the amount of water available in the Mekong river. Three, the operationalisation of Xayaburi and its infilling period
Analysts say Chinese officials are diverting so much water from dams along the upper Mekong River system that Southeast Asian countries are going dry during prime agricultural seasons and turning to other powers for help.