China is concentrating its defenses in the west, where a recent border dispute with India has threatened to spark a new crisis in Asia.
The central government is considering the huge proposal that would divert water from Tibet to the Xinjiang region.
China and India also denied reports that 158 Indian troops were killed during recent Chinese military action in the tense border dispute.
The backlash from Beijing over a bipartisan congressional visit to the Dalai Lama in India comes as relations between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are warming.
Americans Alex Lowe and David Bridges were filming a documentary series for NBC Sports when the avalanche struck.
Chinese border patrols lurk on the Tibetan side, ready to shoot anyone illegally crossing the pass.
They hope the collapse of Chinese communism could lead to the return of a free Tibet.
Singer Yungchen Lhamo, who escaped Tibet on foot, is now helping mentally ill patients in the U.S. escape.
The White House said Obama had a "great relationship" with the Dalai Lama.