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The cooperation on use and protection of transboundary water resources is an important component of the comprehensive strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and China. In this sphere, the parties seek to develop common positions on the joint use and protection of water resources of transboundary watercourses, prevention of its contamination and depletion.

During his official visit to Kazakhstan on 19-20 August 2013 Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said: "If we talk about the transboundary waters, China is not doing anything to the detriment of the interests of Kazakhstan. I am convinced that by further efforts of both sides, we will find a deserved solution to this problem, and transboundary rivers between the two countries will be the ties that will closely connect our peoples."

In the course of the state visit of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.Nazarbayevto China (August 30 - September 3, 2015), two leaders signed a joint declaration on the new stage of the comprehensive strategic partnership, with special attention paid to the issues of transboundary rivers.

The relationship of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Peoples Republic China in the field on joint use and protection of transboundary rivers are governed by the following documents:

1) The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on cooperation in the field of use and protection of transboundary rivers ( September 12, 2001 , Astana );

2) The Agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Water Resources of the Peoples Republic of China for an emergency notification of the parties about natural disasters on the transboundary rivers ( July 4, 2005 , Astana );

3) The Agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Water Resources of the Peoples Republic of China on the development of research cooperation on transboundary rivers ( December 20, 2006 , Beijing);

4) The Agreement between the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Water Resources of the Peoples Republic of China on the mutual exchange of hydrological and hydro-chemical information (data ) of border gauging on the major transboundary rivers ( December 20, 2006 , Beijing);

5) The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on the protection of the water quality of transboundary rivers (February 22, 2011 , Beijing);

6 ) The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on cooperation in the field of environmental protection ( June 13, 2011 , Astana );

7 ) The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Management and Operation of Dostyk (You Yi) Joint Hydro Unit on the Khorgos River ( September 7, 2013 , Astana ).

The main body of interaction in the field of use and protection of transboundary rivers is Kazakhstan-China Joint Commission in the field of use and protection of transboundary rivers (Joint Commission), which was established in 2003.

The Joint Commission has been the part of the Kazakh-Chinese Cooperation Committee since 31 October, 2008.

13 meetings of the Joint Commission were held from 2003 to 2015.

Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee are the Vice Minister of Agricuture of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Deputy Minister of Water Resources of the Peoples Republic China.

The following Working Groups were established under the Joint Commission:
1) Working Group of Experts of the Joint Commission ( 2003 );

2 ) Working Group of Experts of the proper agensies of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Peoples Republic of China on the implementation of the Plan of the main directions of technical work on water division of transboundary rivers ( 2010 );

3 ) Joint Control Commission for the division of water of the Horgos River ( 2002 );

4 ) Permanent Water Commission in the field of use and water division of the Sumbe River and Kayshybulak River ( 2008 );

5) Kazakhstan-China joint office on exploitation of the “Dostyq” joint hydrosystem (2013);

6) Special working group on the drafting of the transboundaryrivers water sharing agreement (2014).

Within the Joint Commission is being carried out the exchange of hydrological and hydrochemical data:

1) the Irtysh River - gauging Buran (the Republic of Kazakhstan) - Nanwan of China (the Peoples Republic of China) ;
2) the Ile River - gauging Dobyn (the Republic of Kazakhstan) - Sandaohezi of China (the Peoples Republic of China ) ;
3) the Tekes River - gauging Tekes (the Republic of Kazakhstan) - Jiefangdaqiao (the Peoples Republic of China).

The issues of the water resources protection of the transboundary rivers are also considered within the Kazakh- Chinese Commission on cooperation in the field of environmental protection (the Commission).

Co-Chairmen of the Commission are the Vice-Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection of the Peoples Republic of China.

Under the above-mentioned committeetwo working groups were established:

1) Working Group on Monitoring , analyzing and evaluating the quality of transboundary rivers;

2 ) Working Group on rapid response to disasters and pollution prevention.