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This Article explores China’s management of its international rivers. China has various domestic pieces of legislation, including the Water Law of 2002, to regulate the uses and protection of its international rivers. It is clear that international water law influenced China inasmuch as there are similarities between the 1997 Watercourses Convention and the Water Law of 2002, and even China has recognized the influence of international law in the formation of its Water Law of 2002. This runs contrary to the widespread belief among Western commentators that China generally does not engage in these types of matters with international water law in mind. As evidence, these commentators point to China’s objection to signing the 1997 Watercourses Convention and its refusal to join any river-basin commissions for any of its international rivers. This Article, however, shows how China has been strongly influenced by the international water-law regime and has engaged with other states in the management of its international rivers, albeit with a limited number of states. This Article posits that China can further benefit from en-gaging in international fora when trying to manage its domestic water issues.


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8 Sep 2022
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  • Subject
    • Environmental Law

    • International Law

    • Water Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College International and Comparative Law Review

  • Volume
    • 39

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Pagination
    • 227

  • Date submitted

    8 September 2022