No plan to divert waters: China
China yesterday rejected as "false and untrue" a media report that it was planning to build a 1,000- km long tunnel to divert water from the Brahmaputra river in Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh to the parched Xinjiang region.
Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post yesterday said that Chinese engineers were testing techniques that could be used to build the tunnel, the world's longest.
"This is untrue. This is a false report," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing when asked about the report.
China will continue to attach great importance to cross- border river cooperation, she said.
According to the report, the proposed tunnel, which would drop down from the world's highest plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls, would provide water in China's largest administrative division, comprising vast swathes of deserts and dry grasslands.
The water would be diverted from the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet, which turns into the river Brahmaputra once it enters India, to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang, the report had said.
India as riparian state has already flagged its concerns to China about various dams being built by it on the Brahmaputra river, which is known in China as Yarlung Tsangpo.
Beijing has been assuring India and Bangladesh that its dams were not designed to storing water.
Observers said China might weigh in in favour of the project if it serves its strategic interests, which include pressuring India. It has already committed $60 billion for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which, experts say, has more strategic value than economic worth for Beijing.