China’s dams & regional security implications: an Indian perspective

China’s dams & regional security implications: an Indian perspective

One of the characteristics of China’s “peaceful rise” has been its endeavour to control environment, demonstrated mainly by its dam-building policy. This paper underlines that China has been actively diverting river waters in its territory for different purposes.

However, resettlement remains one of the greatest bones of contention vis-à-vis any large-scale developmental project. Equally important, environmental destruction is, among others, a result of construction of dams, small or big.

The paper suggests that environmental security should be deemed as an important component of national security. In this respect, it shows that China’s dams are increasingly adding to its geological vulnerability. For instance, China’s management of the Mekong River that originates in the Tibet has faced criticism from the entire world, particularly Southeast Asia, which is at its receiving end.

Conclusions are that:

  • China’s water/river policies could adversely affect not only the population of other countries in its neighbourhood but also its own population
  • from an Indian perspective, the spree of dams proposed by China could potentially diminish India’s maneuver-ability in the region in terms of its own plans to deploy hydroelectric projects in its territory to fulfil its energy requirements
  • therefore, India must galvanise the support of its neighbouring countries to prevent China from implementing large-scale diversion projects that could affect water security in the South Asian region as a whole


  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.