Phnom Penh, January 11, 2018
PHNOM PENH: Leaders of the six countries sharing the Mekong River on Wednesday adopted a five-year plan of action on sub-regional cooperation.
As expected, the first day of the two-day summit did not discuss the Chinese request to dynamite islets and shoals in the Mekong off Chiang Rai province.
The action plan laid out at the 2nd Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting prioritises cooperation among Thailand, China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam in such areas as connectivity, production capacity, water resources, agriculture and poverty reduction.
China, whose Premier Li Keqiang co-chaired the meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, has injected $300 million to fund related cooperation projects, according to the document.
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.
The 4,880-kilometre-long Mekong begins in China, where it is known as the Lancang River. It then flows through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia before entering the South China Sea through the delta region of southern Vietnam.
China has built huge hydropower dams in the upper reaches of the river, causing some concerns among downstream countries and environmentalists. more…