China to share annual Lancang River data with Mekong countries: premier

, August 24, 2020

A Lao fisherman fishes in the Mekong River near Vientiane, Laos, on March 10, 2020. (Photo by Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday announced China will share the annual hydrological information of the Lancang River with Mekong countries starting from this year, to better address climate change as well as floods and droughts.

Li made the remarks while attending the third Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders' meeting via video link from Beijing.

Calling the six Lancang-Mekong countries a de facto community with a shared future linked by the same water, Li said their cooperation originates from water, which is an important part of cooperation, and enriches the LMC spirit of friendship, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.

Over the past four years since the mechanism was put in place, Lancang-Mekong countries have ramped up institutional cooperation on water resources, said the premier.

Li said the legitimate rights and interests of Lancang-Mekong countries to rationally develop and utilize water resources should be fully respected, and all parties' interests and concerns should be accommodated.

"China is willing to offer more assistance within its capacity to other Lancang-Mekong countries for better utilizing water resources," Li said.

In addition, China will join with other countries this year to build an information sharing platform of water resources cooperation, according to Li.

The premier also announced such moves as the regular holding of ministerial meetings and forums on water resources cooperation, the implementation of a five-year-plan on Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation, as well as the implementation of cooperation programs on dam security and flood alerts.

The Mekong River, also known as the Lancang River in China, is a vital waterway for cross-border shipping among China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The six Lancang-Mekong countries launched the LMC mechanism in March 2016.