Lancang-Mekong cooperation to boost people's benefits: Chinese state councilor

September 21, 2020

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) attends, together with Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith (R), the joint press conference of the fifth Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Lao capital Vientiane on Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Kaikeo Saiyasane)

The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism will promote livelihood of the people around the region, making them have a stronger sense of gain, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

At a joint press conference with Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith after the fifth Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Thursday, Wang said the LMC is aimed to benefit the people in the region.

The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Special Fund will support 152 programs in the six countries to boost people's livelihood in various fields, he noted.

China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam jointly established the LMC in 2016 to promote sub-regional cooperation. The six countries share the same river -- called the Lancang River in China and the Mekong River when it flows through the other five countries before emptying into the sea.

The cooperation will focus on building the Lancang-Mekong economic development belt, the Chinese state councilor said.

Trade connectivity will be taken as the starting point to link the Lancang-Mekong cooperation with the new land-sea corridor, strengthen infrastructure connectivity, enhance facilitation of trade and customs clearance so as to promote cooperation on industrial capacity, cross-border economy and industrial parks, Wang added.

Wang suggested the six countries share information, strengthen exchanges and carry out coordination to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, and explore establishing a joint mechanism to deal with major public health emergencies.

Cooperation will be strengthened within the Lancang-Mekong framework to ensure rational and sustainable use of water resources and address drought challenge, he said, adding that despite scarce rains in the upstream, China had increased the flow volume of the Lancang River to help downstream countries ease drought.

China will give positive consideration to share the full-year hydrological information with Mekong River countries, Wang said.

Noting that agriculture is of great significance to economic development and people's livelihood improvement in the region, the Chinese state councilor said the Lancang-Mekong agricultural cooperation mechanism will be well used to facilitate mutual recognition of product standards and certifications, and strengthen quality and safety systems so as to enhance competitiveness of agricultural products.

He said the LMC countries will strengthen governance experience exchanges and boost exchanges at the levels of local governments and border control departments to address challenges posed by natural disasters, drug crimes, terrorism and online gambling.

Wang also said the LMC will actively seek coordinated development with other sub-regional mechanisms such as the Greater Mekong Subregion and the Mekong River Commission, to jointly promote regional socio-economic development.