Published: 15:44, May 24, 2024
China’s water governance in focus
By Hou Liqiang and Leonardus Jegho in Jakarta

Book on Xi’s insights into resource management published on sidelines of global forum in Indonesia

An English-language book showcasing President Xi Jinping’s insights into water resources management was published at the 4th High-level Seminar on Global Water Security on May 21, in Bali, Indonesia.

The theme of this year’s seminar — a flagship annual event co-hosted by the World Water Council and China’s Ministry of Water Resources — was “Sharing China’s latest policies and best practices for better water governance”.

Water Governance in China — Perspectives of Xi Jinping was unveiled in the opening session by Li Guoying, minister of water resources; Loic Fauchon, president of the World Water Council (WWC); and Zhang Zhisheng, Chinese consul general in Denpasar, Indonesia.

The book discusses an innovative philosophy on water governance that Xi proposed in 2014, which focuses on “prioritizing water conservation, balancing spatial distribution, adopting systematic approaches, and leveraging the roles of both government and market.”

Li said that guided by Xi’s principles, China has made historic strides and significant improvements in water governance.

With only 6 percent of the world’s freshwater resources, China has successfully ensured food and water security for nearly 20 percent of the world’s population and has contributed to more than 18 percent of its GDP, he noted.

Fauchon highlighted China’s significant contributions in ensuring water security and expressed his willingness to step up water cooperation between the WWC and China.

WWC Honorary President Benedito Braga praised China’s enduring commitment to sharing its extensive knowledge and experiences in water resources management with the world.

Attended by nearly 200 experts and representatives from international organizations and countries, the seminar was held on the sidelines of the ongoing 10th World Water Forum.

Opening the forum on May 20, Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged participants to strengthen common commitment and formulate concrete actions for “water management that is inclusive and sustainable”.

“Let us imagine this, of the 72 percent of the Earth’s surface that is covered by water, only 1 percent can be accessed and used as drinking water and for sanitation purposes,” Widodo said.

He noted that by next year, 500 million small farmers who produce 80 percent of the world’s food supply will suffer from drought.

Themed “Water for Shared Prosperity”, the May 18-25 forum expected over 13,000 participants from around the world, including high-level officials, business executives, and civil society leaders.

“No water, no life and no growth,” Widodo said, adding that unlocking common prosperity can be achieved with “one key, namely collaboration”.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for investment and maritime affairs, said that the forum would result in “concrete deliverables”.

“We will carry out 120 strategic projects related to water worth $9.4 billion,” Pandjaitan said in a statement issued on May 18.

The projects are set to include some that follow up on Indonesia’s initiatives outlined in the Group of 20 Summit in 2022, which Indonesia also hosted in Bali.

Prime Sarmiento in Hong Kong contributed to this story.

Leonardus Jegho is a freelance journalist for China Daily.

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