With the support of the Global Water Partnership Organization (GWPO) and the Ministry of Water Resources of China (MWR), GWP China Technical Advisory Committee (GWP China TAC) was set up in November 2000 with the approval of the relevant governmental institutions. The GWPO has defined GWP China as a Regional Water Partnership.

In September 2006, GWP China organised the first partners meeting in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province at which the Statutes of GWP China has adopted thus a democratic election founded a Regional TAC transformed into a Regional Water Partnership and the first council of GWP China.  In May 2008, the second regional partners meeting was organised in Changsha, Hunan Province, setting up the second board of GWP China. The third council members formed a new chamber after the election on March 22, 2016, at the regional partners meeting of GWP China in Beijing.

The Regional Secretariat of GWP China is hosted by the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) in Beijing, China.

GWP China has established the formal partnership cooperation relationship with 190 institutions and organizations, including the governmental agencies, research institutions, civil societies, universities and utilities.

The provincial/river basin level partnerships were also set up, GWP China Fujian was set up in October 2002, GWP China Hebei in October 2003, GWP China Shaanxi in June 2004, GWP China Yellow River in October 2005 and GWP China Hunan in April 2008.

In 2016, the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued the legal certificate to GWP China, receiving congratulations from of the Ministry of Water Resources,  host institute—IWHR,  and 190 regional partner members. By registering, GWP China adopts its statute by GWP vision, mission and development strategy, remaining its national and international strengths and features.

China Water Resources Strategic Studies (Chinese Name) and GWP China (English Name) share the same leadership.  Based on legal and robust base in China, GWP China can organise the activities flexibly and also has more space in linking the national and international resources towards GWP goals and the SDGs in the future.