chapter  3
24 Pages

China’s policy over international rivers

Perception and diplomatic practices
ByLei Xie, Shaofeng Jia

This chapter examines how China exercises its sovereign rights in the planning and management over international rivers. By analysing national water uses, it points out that the country has enjoyed a secured level of water use ratio on most of its rivers, including those that are shared with its riparian neighbours, and its overall water security has strongly influenced how the country appropriates the water that it shares with its neighbouring states.

China is recognized as increasingly involved in the governance of the global environment, by committing to diplomatic cooperation on key environmental issues. Controversial views exist on the principles and positions seen in China’s international water policy. This chapter discusses the extent to which China adopts international water norms in its appropriation of transboundary water resources. It investigates the extent to which the country is committed to promoting water governance not only as result of rapid economic growth and industrialization, but also as an expression of assertiveness arising from the regional and global power that China is now able to assert over issues pertaining to the nation’s sovereign rights.