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Article – Disputes Over International River Water Resources: Normative Interpretation, Target Guidance and Strategies Enumeration

date:2020-12-15clicks:

WANG Jiang (Associate Professor) ZHANG Ming (LLM Candidate) published an article entitled Disputes Over International River Water Resources: Normative Interpretation, Target Guidance and Strategies Enumeration in China Legal Science.

Abstract: The Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses (UNWC), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in1997, has been promoted by the international community for 17 years and finally came into effect on August 17, 2014. As the latest framework convention on the development and utilization of water resources in international rivers, its progressive effect is undeniable. However, there are still some disadvantages, such as the weak foundation of recognition, unscientific content of rules, and unrealistic use of regulatory functions, etc. This determined that the UNWC is still difficult to adapt to the reality of a complex international river water dispute settlement. In the past decade, China has begun to focus on the cooperation with its neighbors, peacefully developing and utilizing international watercourses, and has signed bilateral treaties with most of its neighbors. For example, it has signed the Agreement on the Protection and Use of Boundary Water with Mongolia, the Cooperation Agreement on the Use and Protection of Transboundary Rivers and the Agreement on Protection of Transboundary Water Quality with Kazakhstan, and the Agreement on Rational Use and Protection of Transboundary Water with Russia. The dispute settlement mechanism of the UNWC covers all means permitted under the international law and in particular provides for mandatory investigation procedures. In bilateral treaties between China and its neighboring countries, however, the means of dispute settlement are mostly principled and lack operability.


Wang J. & Zhang, M. (2020). Disputes Over International River Water Resources: Normative Interpretation, Target Guidance and Strategies Enumeration, China Legal Science 5, 115-34.