chellaney133_XinhuaTian Jinwen via Getty Images_yarlung zangbo brahmaputra Xinhua/Tian Jinwen via Getty Images
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Will China Turn Off Asia’s Tap?

China has never hesitated to use its hydro-hegemony against its downstream neighbors. With its planned new mega-dam on the Yarlung Zangbo river, it is taking this approach to the next level.

NEW DELHI – Even after Asia’s economies climb out of the COVID-19 recession, China’s strategy of frenetically building dams and reservoirs on transnational rivers will confront them with a more permanent barrier to long-term economic prosperity: water scarcity. China’s recently unveiled plan to construct a mega-dam on the Yarlung Zangbo river, better known as the Brahmaputra, may be the biggest threat yet.