China has won water dispute with Kazakhstan
The Ili flows from Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region to Almaty Region in Kazakhstan. / Edmon2004, cc-by-sa 3.0.
December 8, 2022
Kazakhstan has given up trying to stop China from using so much water upstream on transboundary rivers.
That is among the conclusions of a recent paper placing Sino-Kazakh water disputes within the wider context of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s global infrastructure spending spree. Clearly, given the power asymmetry, China has an upper hand in the relationship.
Two major rivers flow from Chinese Xinjiang into Kazakhstan: The Ili, in the south, feeds the country’s largest lake, Balkhash; the Irtysh runs through Kazakhstan’s northern industrial heartland before continuing into Siberia. China uses up to half the water in each, a source of perennial frustration among Kazakhs who fear that Balkhash could go the way of the disappeared Aral Sea.
Kazakhstan has given up trying to stop China from using so much water upstream on transboundary rivers.That is among the conclusions of ...