Sadeian power in use: By having its hand on Asia’s water tap, China is therefore acquiring tremendous leverage over its neighbours’ behaviour…

by Julia Evans on August 31, 2011

Quoted from ‘Water is the new weapon in Beijing’s armoury’ by Brahma Chellaney in the Financial Times, August 30th 2011 07:59pm

Brahma Chellaney is a professor at the independent Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and author of ‘Water: Asia’s New Battleground’


So China is operating from a Sadeian power position.  It has absolute control and the means to enforce its position.


So what to do?


Brahma Chellany suggests a method of bringing China back into relationship with its neighbours in his final paragraph as follows:


That the country controlling the headwaters of major Asian rivers is also a rising superpower, with a muscular confidence increasingly on open display, only compounds the need for international pressure on Beijing to halt its appropriation of shared waters and accept some form of institutionalised co-operation.


How the UK Government shares this abusive use of power with the Chinese Government


They both

–       acquire positions from which leverage behaviour – the UK Government manipulates happiness, wellbeing, education, jobs within the NHS & its contracting organisations.

–       Have monopoly positions – the UK Government over how its budgets are spent.

–       Stall attempts to resolve disputes – the UK Government at best brushes disagreements over the treatment of mental ill-health under the carpet.

–       China makes water a political weapon and the UK Government makes the treatment of Ill-health and Dis-being a political weapon.

–       Getting either country to accept co-operative institutional mechanisms has proved unsuccessful.

–       Impervious to the concerns of those downstream from their actions (the UK government is impervious to what is happening to those with mental distress

–       The consequences of such action: disputes, tensions over displacements, the replication of systematic degradation are not recognised by either country

–       Using this power on bigger and bigger projects – remember the UK’s government’s attempts (DoH White Paper, July 2010: Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS) to produce equity in the field of Health?

–       The use of opacity – the HPC is no longer a viable regulator so there are secret, confidential meetings being held with the CHRE to sew up the talking therapists with the usual collaborators.

–       Sell the results as certain – it is possible to get rid of Anxiety or Depression with the application of cost-benefit-moderated sessions of CBT.  And the result , Government-standard happiness – will save the Government money.

–       Existing arrangements are ignored by the UK Government and blanked by China

–       Promote competition and discord as the way to manage – in the UK, the treatment of those diagnosed with mental illhealth or dis-being & Education & Social Care & …..


And the response is to make your voice heard – nationally, locally and in your training organisation.  The use of this form of power is no way to govern.




Further quotes from the article, which show the type of power in use & the attempted interventions into this power system & the results:


China has aroused international alarm by using its virtual monopoly of rare earths as a trade instrument and by stalling multilateral efforts to resolve disputes in the South China Sea. Among its neighbours, there is deep concern at the way it is seeking to make water a political weapon.


At the hub of Asia, China is the source of  cross-border river flows to the largest number of countries in the world …


Getting this pre-riparian power to accept water-sharing arrangements or other co-operative institutional mechanisms has proved unsuccessful so far in any basin. Instead, the construction of upstream dams on international rivers … shows China is increasingly bent on unilateral actions, impervious to the concerns of downstream nations.


China already boasts both the world’s biggest dam (Three Gorges) and a greater total number of dams than the rest of the world combined. It has shifted its focus from internal to international rivers, and graduated from building dams to building mega-dams. …


The consequences of such frenetic construction are already clear. First, China is in water disputes with almost all its neighbours, … second, its new focus on water mega-projects in the homelands of ethnic minorities has triggered tensions over displacement and submergence at a time when the Tibetan plateau, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia have all been wracked by protests against Chinese rule. Third, the projects threaten to replicate in international rivers the degradation haunting China’s internal rivers.


Yet, as if to declare itself the world’s unrivalled hydro-hegemon, China is also the largest dam builder overseas. From Pakistan-held Kashmir to Burma’s troubled Kachin and Shan states, China is building dams in disputed or insurgency-torn areas, despite local backlash. Dam building in Burma has contributed to renewed fighting, ending a 17-year ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Army and government.


For downriver countries, a key concern is china’s opacity on its dam projects. It usually begins work quietly, almost furtively, then presents a project as unalterable and as holding flood-control benefits.


Worse, although there are water treaties among states in south and south-east Asia, Beijing rejects the concept of a water-sharing arrangement. It is one of only three countries that voted against the 1997 UN convention laying down rules on the share resources of international watercourses.


Yet water is fast becoming a cause of competition and discord between countries in Asia where per capita freshwater availability is less than half the global average. …


By having its hand … see title


That the country … see above