YUNNAN – The Mekong River has always been an important trade route between Western China and Southeast Asia flowing through six different countries. Now the foreign ministers from that countries are holding their first meeting to boost cooperation.
The six foreign ministers met for the first time to frame a cooperation mechanism, agreeing to launch significant projects to enhance water resources, public health, poverty alleviation and infrastructure.
The meeting, co-chaired by Chinese and Thai foreign ministers, announced the establishment of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Mechanism, which, according to Wang, is the first sub-regional cooperation mechanism initiated by the six countries, which are all located along the Lancang River, which is called the Mekong River outside China.
The Mekong river, known within China as the Lancang, rises on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and flows south through southeast Asia, emptying into the sea in southern Vietnam.The six countries with access to the waterway are: China, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Now these countries have a new relationship that has arisen from the prosperity this river can bring.
During the three-hour meeting, officials discussed the feasibility of over 70 projects, which they hope will bring substantial benefits to everyone in the region.The mechanism was proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in November of last year, when he attended the 17th China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting in Myanmar.