Sustainable and practical mutual assistance among Mekong River countries remains despite of coronavirus

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/23 18:25:44

A view of the Mekong River. Photo: VCG

The theme of "Shared River, Shared Future" has become the consensus of China and the other five Mekong river countries to address water resources cooperation and challenges over the past four years since the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) was formally established in 2016.

That consensus is expected to be further deepened at the third LMC leaders' meeting between six countries on Monday co-chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Myanmar President U Win Myint, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will attend the virtual meeting.

"China and Mekong countries are good neighbors, good partners and good brothers. LMC is a new sub-regional cooperation mechanism of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits among the six countries," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at Friday's regular press conference. "Over the past four years since its launch, the mechanism has developed rapidly, improved its rules, expanded its areas of cooperation and strengthened its impetus for development, bringing tangible benefits to the people of the six countries."

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the six countries have extended assistance to each other, effectively contained the spread of COVID-19, made positive contributions to the fight against virus in East Asia and the world at large, and contributed to the resumption of work and production of regional economic recovery, Zhao stressed.

The third LMC leaders' meeting was originally scheduled to be held in Vientiane, Laos, earlier this year, but was postponed due to the outbreak. All parties agreed that it is necessary to hold the meeting as soon as possible in a flexible manner and timely provide strategic guidance for the LMC in light of the new situation, the spokesperson said.

Fishermen lay their nets on the Mekong River near Luang Prabang, Laos. Photo: AFP

In the past four years, China has partnered with other five countries in at least 20 water-related projects, involving river planning, water resources information sharing, water conservancy standards and regulations, and flood and drought disaster prevention. 

Representatives from six countries resumed their exchanges in an online meeting for the first time after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic on May 21 to facilitate dialogue on establishing an information sharing platform to boost transparency and cooperation in water resources management.

China's enthusiastic promotion of the LMC was praised again in a recent exchange session held on Thursday around cooperative projects to ensure drinking water safety in rural areas and ameliorate increasingly severe drought conditions in the basin.

China's Ministry of Water Resources and the Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Center initiated the exchange seminar and invited representatives of five embassies of Mekong countries in China to hear their concerns and ideas on potential improvements in cooperation.

Representatives recognized China's effective resources shared in the cooperation, calling them valuable for exchanges, especially at the minister level, despite of the challenge of the COVID-19.

Global Times

Posted in: IN-DEPTH

blog comments powered by Disqus