US hypes Mekong River water issue to sow discord among countries: Chinese FM

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/8 23:19:24

Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian is making remarks at a routine press briefing. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian slammed the US for hyping issues of the Mekong River resources to sow discord among Mekong countries, calling for trust, understanding and support among countries in the region.

Zhao responded to groundless and false stigmatization by the US at a press briefing on Tuesday, after David Stilwell, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, recently smeared China for "manipulating" water into the Mekong River.

The cascade reservoirs of Lancang River (the name of the upstream of the Mekong River in China) serve as flood storage during the rainy season and water discharge in the dry season, which helps to maintain the stable flow of the Mekong River, said Zhao, noting China has done a great deal for Mekong water resources cooperation, including providing hydrological data to downstream countries for 18 years, and assisting in flood control and disaster prevention.

China's largest reservoir capacity on the upper reaches of the river is 42 billion cubic meters, and the 280 billion cubic meters suggested by some reports in the US is unscientific, Zhao said.

As long as Mekong countries trust and support each other, eliminate external interference and focus on practical cooperation, we will be able to manage our common water resources for the benefit of all people in countries along the Mekong River, he said.

The Mekong River is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia. Originating from China, the river also runs through Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. 


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