A greater Mekong alliance is necessary for the region to prosper

Although there are no territorial disputes like those in the South China Sea, and no Western presence, China’s economic might is on full display in the Mekong region. Before Covid-19 struck, cities like Sihanoukville, Pattaya, and Luang Prabang were swamped with Chinese tourists. One only has to look at the impact that Chinese business and interests have had on the Cambodian economy to understand how the world’s newest superpower is flexing its economic muscles.

Southward put:: How will China’s influence affect conflict-ridden Shan State?

While the Burma people’s uprising or revolution is aimed at achieving the goal of uprooting the military junta and the establishment of a federal democratic union, the proxy war raging in Shan State may be intended solely to serve China’s national interest, with a matching physical presence of its proxy EAOs to provide security for its business interests and trade and communication infrastructure linking southwest China to the Indian Ocean.

Dams fail but still vital

Ban Kaeng Sila village in Khon Kaen’s Ubon Ratana district is just one kilometre away from Ubolratana Dam, the largest irrigation dam in the Northeast.. But local farmers had to endure severe drought for three years between 2018 to 2020, as the dam’s reservoir dried.

Water projects need scrutiny

Without an approved EIA a project cannot move ahead; so developers are accused of hiring “friendly” environmental firms and environmental experts to conduct a study and public hearing that give favourable outcomes that support the project. Such accusations surfaced recently in the case of the Yuam River Water Diversion scheme.