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Kazakhstan plans to settle transborder rivers issue with China by 2015

12 december 2012, 09:48
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Vice Minister of Agriculture Marat Tolibayev.  ©Maksim Popov
Vice Minister of Agriculture Marat Tolibayev. ©Maksim Popov
Kazakhstan plans to settle the issue of transborder rivers with China by 2015, a Tengrinews.kz reports.

“China is one of the most complicated directions from the perspective of negotiations (…) There is no agreement [on transborder rivers] in place. We are working to sign a formal agreement. Following protracted talks China admitted back in 2010 that there is a need for an agreement and suggested the sides tackle the issue guided by scientific approaches. All the research will be over in 2014 and we hope to sign an agreement in 2015”, Vice Minister of Agriculture Marat Tolibayev said when speaking before the Majilis (lower chamber).

He elaborated that China is expanding irrigated lands. For instance, in the Ili River basin the area of irrigated lands stands at about 400 000 hectares, with the number to be brought up to 1 million. Irrigated lands in the Irtysh River basin make up 567 000 hectares, with another 500 000 to be used later on.

“Recently China has constructed Karamai Canal to divert water from the Black Irtysh River, which is a tributary of the Irtysh River. Water diverting is growing exponentially and we understand that procrastination [with regards to a possible agreement] is getting more dangerous for Kazakhstan and we are trying to secure an agreement in 2015 and to calculate our expenses from that moment on”, the Vice Minister said.

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