But the current direction of development shows that regional decision-makers do not acknowledge the broader value of the river, ignoring other users of this shared resource.
If China is serious about achieving its “Asian community of common destiny”, which promotes regional peace, development, and prosperity, it must improve its lines of communication. Meanwhile, downstream nations must come together and act as one counterbalance to China’s strategic dominance upstream.
The notifications came shortly after a new U.S.-funded monitoring system revealed that China had not told the downstream countries that it was holding back water starting on Dec. 31.
The water outflow at Jinghong hydropower station in China’s Yunnan province is dropping due to power grid maintenance during 5–24 January 2021, leading to changes in river water levels along the Mekong River in Thailand, Lao PDR, and Cambodia.
Though the subregional mechanism, the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), exists — through which India engages with the five nations in the Mekong subregion — it focuses on socio-economic and cultural cooperation such as connectivity, trade, tourism, etc.
Bitcoin mining has already picked up in Southeast Asia, with Cambodia increasingly becoming a hub for cryptocurrency trading and mining perhaps due to its cheaper rent and electricity rates and loose regulations.
The projects are controversial because of their environmental impact, displacement of villagers without adequate compensation, and questionable financial and power demand arrangements.
A new report from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, shows how countries in Southeast Asia are recognising the right to a healthy environment in their laws, policies, and courts.
New dams are in the works. Laos, a landlocked and impoverished nation, is planning to construct a new 684-megawatt dam at the cost of $2 billion with Chinese backing. Most of the electricity generated would be exported to neighboring Thailand, which already has a surplus of electricity to meet domestic demand.
India’s foreign minister speaks on India’s Act East Policy