Asia can build a harmonious, rules-based water management system. But it needs China to get on board. Tensions over water are rising in Asia—and not only because of conflicting maritime claims. While territorial disputes, such as in the South China Sea, attract the most attention—after all, they threaten the safety of sea lanes and freedom of navigation, which affects outside powers as well—the strategic ramifications of competition over transnationally shared freshwater resources are just as ominous. Asia has less fresh water per capita than any other continent, and it is already facing a water crisis that, according to an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) study, will continue to intensify, with severe water shortages expected by 2050. At a time of widespread geopolitical discord, competition over freshwater resources could emerge as a serious threat to long-term peace and stability in Asia.