Lancang-Mekong countries call for further water cooperation
By Cen Ziyuan
Representatives from Cambodia, China, the Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam called for further water cooperation during a site visit of two hydropower stations involved in the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, and the site visit and meeting was part of the 2021 Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Week activities held in Yunnan from April 26 to 29.
It was the first time in five years that the diplomatic envoys were observing the operation of Chinese hydropower stations along the Lancang River in person.
The representatives toured Nuozhadu and Jinghong hydropower stations, the Chinese dam nearest to Mekong countries and a resettlement village along the Lancang. They also attended a meeting on water resources cooperation.
Thongsavanh Phyathep, minister counselor of the Laos Embassy in Beijing, said he gained a better understanding of the Chinese project after the tour of Nuozhadu Hydropower Station and Manmi Village.
"It is very useful for us to have a trip today," he said. "We go around and visit the dam project and the village. We have seen many things that develop with nature."
Zhong Yong, head of the joint working group on water resources cooperation of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation from China, said the spirit of the program is that the six countries are a big family. "We always account for our share [of] responsibility and share [of] our future," Zhong said.
The envoys said water resources cooperation, the priority of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, has been strengthened, thanks to strong support from China and the joint efforts of the six countries, which improved the water governance capacity of six countries and benefited people's livelihood and well-being.
"This [cooperation] helps enhance trust-building and facilitate effective water management of all downstream countries in the Mekong," said Mongkol Visitstump, consul-general of Thailand in Kunming, noting that it will benefit waterway transportation and water usage for other purposes, like agriculture.
All sides agreed that they would further strengthen the communication on the water resources and foreign affairs and jointly make their best contribution to promoting the cooperation of the Lancang-Mekong water resources.
(Cover: A view of the Lancang River, Jinghong City in Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, southwest China's Yunnan Province. /CFP)