Water: China's key political weapon

Three Gorges Dam on the Yantze River is the world's largest hydropower project (photo: dpa)
Three Gorges Dam on the Yantze River is the world's largest hydropower project (photo: dpa)

China holds the trump card when it comes to the politics of water in Asia. Its water policies will influence not only possible tension within its own borders, where resources are unevenly distributed and polluted, but also among its neighbours for whom the river waters are a lifeline. The 21st Century will see water become a key political issue within China, writes GIS guest expert Vaughan Winterbottom.

<i>China has ample water resources but they are unevenly distributed, polluted, and originate in regions prone to inter-ethnic tension. The country’s dam-building activities and unwillingness to cooperate on shared river resources antagonises riparian neighbours. While Beijing sh...

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