Uncooperative China makes it worse as drought hits downstream nations: experts

China’s dams are worsening drought conditions downstream the Mekong River, storing and controlling up to 50 percent of its waters, experts say.

China on average contributes around 14 percent of the Mekong River’s flow, “but an annual average can be misleading,” says Brian Eyler, director of the Southeast Asia Program at U.S.-based Stimson Center, which describes itself as a non-profit, nonpartisan think tank that aims to enhance international peace and security through a combination of analysis and outreach.

Eyler said that during the monsoon season, the wettest parts of the Mekong River, which flows through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam before reaching the sea, are not in China but in Laos and Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Therefore, in the monsoon season, China’s ‘contribution’ of water is actually around just 7 percent.

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Viet Anh