China has forty major transboundary watercourses with neighbouring countries, and has frequently been accused of harming its downstream neighbours through its domestic water management policies, such as the construction of dams for hydropower. This book provides an understanding of water security in Asia by investigating how shared water resources affect China’s relationships with neighbouring countries in South, East, Southeast and Central Asia.
Since China is an upstream state on most of its shared transboundary rivers, the country’s international water policy is at the core of Asia’s water security. These water disputes have had strong implications for China’s interstate relations, and also influenced its international water policy alongside domestic concerns over water resource management.
This book investigates China’s policy responses to domestic water crises and examines China’s international water policy as well as its strategy in dealing with international cooperation. The authors describe the key elements of water diplomacy in Asia which demonstrate varying degrees of effectiveness of environmental agreements. It shows how China has established various institutional arrangements with neighbouring countries, primarily in the form of bilateral agreements over hydrological data exchange. Detailed case studies are included of the Mekong, Brahmaputra, Ili and Amur rivers.
Chapter 1 China’s transboundary rivers: politics, diplomacy and security: an introduction
Chapter 2 The governance of water resources in China
Chapter 3 China’s policy over international rivers: Perception and diplomatic practices
Chapter 4 Theoretical debate: water diplomacy
Chapter 5 Southeast Asia: China’s water diplomacy on the Mekong River
Chapter 6 South Asia: China’s evolving attitude over the GBM
Chapter 7 Central Asia: Sino-Kazakh water diplomacy on Ili and Irtysh Rivers
Chapter 8 Northeast Asia: Sino-Russian cooperation over the Amur River
Chapter 9 Comparison and conclusions
Chapter 10 Policy recommendations
"Lei Xie and Shaofeng Jia’s book makes a robust contribution to the discussion of international fresh watercourses by combining the Chinese perspective on national interests with the Global South narrative of riparian neighbouring states, all of which are developing countries. Xie and Jia examine and link research areas such as human security, diplomacy, intergovernmental relations, and policies, and the authors contribute insights to the current debate on fresh water management in relation to sustainability and the reduction of tension and conflict." - Francisco José Leandro in China Information (2018)