Summit in Cambodia Makes Lancang-Mekong Greater

Postado Janeiro 12, 2018

As an important mechanism along the Lancang-Mekong river sub-region, the LMC mechanism has been focusing on sustainable development and pragmatic cooperation in the sub-region and serving as an important platform for implementing the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

At more than 45,000 kilometers long, the Mekong is the biggest river in Southeast Asia - and the most controversial. He's leading discussions in partnership with Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen.

The action plan states that "the Mekong-Lancang is moving towards a new sub-regional cooperation mechanism" that will in part support community-building and regional integration efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which also includes Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. In terms of cooperation in the next five years, he called for more attention to increasing cooperation in protecting, managing and using the Mekong River's water resources in an effective and sustainable manner, thus turning water resource cooperation into a cooperation focus of the six countries.

The world's 12th-longest river, the Mekong runs almost 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) from the Tibetan Plateau down into mainland Southeast Asia before emptying into the South China Sea in Vietnam.

The first LMC leaders' meeting was held in Sanya of China's Hainan province in March 2016, at which the goal of building a community of shared future of peace and prosperity for the LMC countries was endorsed.

Chaired by Prime Ministers Hun Sen (Cambodia) and Li Keqiang (China), the 2nd Summit of the Mekong- Lancang Cooperation Group (MLCG) is also attended by their peers from Laos, Thongloun Sisoulith; Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-Cha; and Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as well as Myanmar's vice-president, Myint Swe.

The MLCG summits are held every two years (the foreign ministers meet every year).

Summit in Cambodia Makes Lancang-Mekong Greater

It is a consensus of the Cambodian government and people to consolidate and develop friendship with China, he said, vowing firm support for China on issues regarding its core interest.

The plan prioritises "cooperation" among Thailand, China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam in such areas as connectivity, production capacity, water resources, agriculture and poverty reduction. More than 60 million people depend on the river and its tributaries for food, water, transport and many other things in their daily lives. The basin is home to 1,200-1,700 fish species, making it the most diverse basin after the Amazon and Congo.

Within Asean, Cambodia has been known to support China's position by blocking mention of an worldwide tribunal ruling on the South China Sea, a large part of which China claims.

China is the driving force behind numerous projects, having already built eight dams on the river since the 1990s and is now building or planning more than a dozen more.

Beijing has already studded the Mekong's upper reaches with six dams and is investing in more than half of the 11 dams planned further south, according to International Rivers.

He said the project is set to start this year and will take at least 44 months to complete.

Overriding priorities should be given to hydro-meteorological statistics and information sharing, cooperation in response to droughts and floods and joint scientific research to construct reservoirs along the Mekong River as well as infrastructure development to facilitate flows of commodities, services and capital, and local people's travel, he noticed.