India - China Co-Operation

A) Memorandum of Understanding upon provision of Hydrological Information of the River Brahmaputra / Yaluzangbu

The Trans-border rivers flowing from China to India fall into two main groups. 1) The Brahmaputra river system on the Eastern side, which consist of river Siang (main stream of river Brahmaputra) and its tributaries, namely Subansiri and Lohit.  The river Brahmaputra is called Yaluzangbu or Tsangpo in China. 1) The Indus river system on the Western side consists of river Indus and the river Sutlej.

In the year 2002, the Government of India had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China for five years upon provision of Hydrological information on Yaluzangbu /Brahmaputra River during flood season by China to India. In accordance with the provisions contained in the MoU, the Chinese side provided hydrological information (Water Level, Discharge and Rainfall) in respect of three stations, namely, Nugesha, Yangcun and Nuxia located on river Brahmaputra/ Yaluzangbu from 1st June to 15th October every year, which was utilized in the formulation of flood forecasts by the Central Water Commission (CWC).

During the visit of Hon’ble External Affairs Minister of India to Beijing from June 4-7, 2008, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) upon provision of Hydrological information of the River Brahmaputra /Yaluzangbu River in flood season by China to India was signed with China on 5th June 2008 with a validity of another five years. Further, this MoU was renewed on 20th May, 2013 with a validity of another five year during the visit of Hon’ble Chinese Premier Mr. Li Keqiang to India in May, 2013. The Implementation plan in this regard was also signed by both the countries on 30th May, 2013 at New Delhi.

During the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to China in October 2013, both the countries also signed a separate “Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Cooperation on Trans-Border Rivers” on 23rd October 2013, in which inter alia the scope of provision of hydrological information of three hydrological stations has also been enhanced to start from May 15th instead of June 1st upto October 15th of the relevant year, from 2014 onwards.

In accordance with the MoU for ‘Strengthening Cooperation on Trans-border Rivers’ signed on 23rd October 2013, the two sides revised the Implementation Plan upon the provision of hydrological information of Yaluzangbu / Brahmaputra signed on 30th May, 2013 for providing of hydrological information changing the data provision period from 1st June- 15th October every year to 15th May- 15th October of relevant year, from 2014 onwards, during the 8th meeting of India-China Expert Level Mechanism on trans-border rivers held at New Delhi from June 24-27, 2014.  This revised IP was signed revised the Implementation Plan in Beijing on June 30, 2014 during the Visit of Hon’ble Vice President of India to China. 

B) Memorandum of Understanding on Hydrological Data Sharing on River  Sutlej / Langqen Zangbo

Similar Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed during the visit of the Chinese Premier to India in April 2005 for providing hydrological information of one station i.e. Tsada on River Sutlej/ Langqen Zangbo during flood season. Chinese side is providing hydrological information in respect of their Tsada station on river Sutlej Langqen Zangbo.

During the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of China to India in December, 2010, a MoU upon provision of hydrological information of Sutlej/Langqen Zangbo River during flood season by China to India was signed with China on 16th December, 2010 with a validity of five years. The Implementation Plan containing technical details of provision of hydrological information, data transmission method and cost settlement etc. in respect of the MoU on River Sutlej was signed between the two countries in April, 2011 at Beijing, China.

During the recent visit of Hon’ble Vice President of the People’s Republic of China in November, 2015 a MoU has been renewed on 06.11.2015 with a validity of further five years. Accordingly, implementation plan on River Sutlej signed on 13th April, 2016 during the 10th ELM meeting held at New Delhi, India.

Expert Level Mechanism (ELM)

During the visit of the Hon’ble President of the People’s Republic of China to India in November 20-23, 2006, it was agreed to set up an Expert-Level Mechanism to discuss interaction and cooperation on provision of flood season hydrological data, emergency management and other issues regarding trans-border Rivers as agreed between them. Accordingly, the two sides have set up the Joint Expert Level Mechanism. The Expert Level Mechanism from Indian side is led by Commissioner (B&B), a Joint Secretary level officer.  The 10th ELM meeting between India & China was held during 12th & 13th April, 2016 at New Delhi, India.


Last Updated on:07/06/2016
Last Updated By :BB