India and China on Wednesday signed a new agreement to strengthen cooperation on trans-border rivers that is aimed at allaying India’s concerns over new dams on the Brahmaputra and facilitating the exchange of flood data.
The agreement, signed after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, said both countries agreed to strengthen their cooperation further on the trans-border rivers through the existing Expert Level Mechanism to provide flood-season data and emergency management.
Under the new agreement, the Chinese side agreed to provide more flood data of Brahmaputra river from May to October instead of June to October that was in vogue under the previous agreements river water agreements in 2008 and 2010.
India has expressed concerns over China’s plans to construct more dams which New Delhi fears could restrict the flows of the Himalayan river flowing from Tibet.
China for its parts assured India that its dams are run of the river projects not designed to hold water.
In addition to the river water agreement, India and China inked several agreements on establishment of Nalanda University at Rajgir in Bihar for which China is one of the participating countries.
The side also signed agreements to strengthen cultural exchange programme, Cooperation in Road Transport and Highways, Chinese power equipment service centres in India and agreements to establishing sister city relationships between Delhi-Beijing and Bangalore and Chengdu and Kolkata and Kunming.