Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna returned from Beijing this month with bombshell news. Krishna said Chinese authorities had finally admitted what the Indian government had long suspected: Beijing is building a massive, power-generating dam on China's Tsang Po river, which also runs through India -- where it is known as the Brahmaputra -- and Bangladesh.
Amid protests, Krishna reassured the public. "We have an expert-level mechanism to address the issue," the minister said during a meeting of parliament, according to press reports. "A meeting of experts from both India and China is scheduled to take place between April 26-29 in Delhi.''
The Tsang Po dam is just one of five such facilities China admits to building on waters it shares with India. Once completed, the dam could disrupt fresh-water supplies and agriculture for tens of millions of South Asians living downstream. Beijing insists the dam is necessary to supply electricity to its booming economy -- and will have little effect on downstream communities. But to India, its construction could be tantamount to a declaration of war as the region's water resources come under greater pressure from growing populations.