ISTANBUL, Turkey, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei here Friday underlined the importance of exchange mechanism for water cooperation with Japan, South Korea.
Chen voiced the importance in a speech at the signing ceremony of a joint statement on water cooperation with Japan and South Korea during the 5th World Water Forum, the largest water-related event in the world.
According to the statement, the three sides shared the view that it's crucial to speed up the tripartite cooperation in an effort to strengthen mutual parternership.
Chen said that China, Japan and South Korea, all situated in North-East Asia, are "close neighbors only separated by a strip of water and have kept extensive exchanges and effective cooperation in the water field for a long time."
According to the Chinese official, China has already had regular exchange mechanisms over water issues with Japan and South Korea, such as "the Sino-Japan Workshop on Water Resources", "the Sino-Japan Symposium on River and Dam Engineering" and "the Sino-South Korea Workshop on Water Resources."
"The exchange mechanisms play an important role in enhancing mutual understanding, exchanging experiences and boosting cooperation among us three countries," he said.
Chen stressed that "water is a fundamental natural resource and a strategic economic resource. With intermingled impacts of global climate change and rapid economic and social development, constantly emerging water problems, such as drought, water scarcity, flood and water logging, water pollution and soil erosion, have become a common challenge" to the entire Asian-Pacific Region.
China is willing to share technologies and experiences, expand cooperation areas and put forward partnership with Japan and South Korea in order to jointly cope with water problems in the North-East Asia, promised the Chinese official.
The 5th World Water Forum attracts some 25,000 participants from all over the world, including government officials, representatives of nonprofit groups and institutions as well as individuals, with an aim to promote ideas about conserving, managing and supplying water.