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India, China sign 2 MoUs on sharing of Brahmaputra river data and supply of non-Basmati rice

Jun 11, 2018 10:48 IST
India, China sign 2 MoUs on sharing of Brahmaputra river data and supply of non-Basmati rice

India and China June 9, 2018 signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for sharing the hydrological data of the Brahmaputra River; and for supplying non-Basmati rice to China.

The two MoUs were signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held detailed discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping on bilateral and global issues. PM Modi was on a two-day visit to the picturesque coastal city of China's Shandong province to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

MoU on sharing of Brahmaputra River data

Brahmaputra River

  • Under this MoU, China will start sharing hydrological information of the Brahmaputra River with India again during the flood season from May 15 to October 15 every year.
  • This MoU was signed between China's Ministry of Water Resources and India's Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • The sharing of Brahmaputra river data is crucial to predict floods.
  • The MoU also enables the Chinese side to provide hydrological data, if water level exceeds the mutually agreed level during non-flood season.
  • China, an upstream country, shares the scientific study of the movement, distribution and quality of water data of the Brahmaputra river.
  • Originating from Tibet, the Brahmaputra is one of the major rivers in China. From Tibet it flows down to India and later enters Bangladesh where it joins the Ganga.

China had stopped sharing data in 2017 soon after the 73-day long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam over Chinese military's plans to build a road close to India's corridor connecting North-Eastern states.

 

MoU on supply of non-Basmati rice

 

 

India and China also signed an agreement under which China has agreed to import non-Basmati rice from India.

This MoU was signed between China's General Administration of Customs and India's Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare on Phytosanitary requirements for exporting rice from India to China.

In this regard, the ‘2006 Protocol on Phytosanitary Requirements for Exporting Rice from India to China’ has been amended to include the export of non-Basmati varieties of rice from India.

At present, India can only export Basmati rice to China.

This MoU is likely to bridge the trade deficit gap between India and China to a certain extent. India’s Trade deficit with China stood at USD 36.73 billion during April-October this fiscal. The trade deficit was USD 52.69 billion in the previous fiscal.

Other highlights of the talks between India and China

• President Xi Jinping suggested that China and India should set up a new bilateral trade target of USD 100 billion by 2020.

• China is also looking at enhancing agricultural exports from India including sugar.

• China also agreed to encourage India's pharmaceutical companies to register for high quality pharmacy products in Chinese market.

 

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