China has begun construction work on a hydroelectric power station in Yunnan province that neighbouring countries fear may affect the important Mekong River. The Xiaowan station will be situated on the middle reaches of the Chinese portion of the river and will have a total generating capacity of 4,200MW. It will cost an estimated Yn22.2bn to build.
China plans to build eight stations on the river. Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Vietnam are concerned that China will be able to control the river’s flow and the discharge of water.