Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > China Video

Countries intensify efforts to cope with risks on patrolling the Mekong

Reporter: Meng Qingsheng 丨 CCTV.com

12-18-2016 12:37 BJT

The second foreign ministers' meeting of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation will be held on December 23rd in Cambodia, with representatives from China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam attending the event. Joint patrols and law enforcement efforts on the Mekong River are now in their fifth year. China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand began these operations in December 2011 to keep the waterway safe and crime-free. CCTV’s Meng Qingsheng joins a patrol to discover how the very real dangers faced by people living on the river are being addressed. Here is the first episode of his six-part special report.

Mekong, the mother river crossing six countries.

Flows with potential dangers.

Eight hours after departure, Chinese border control police activates a top-level emergency response.

The place we are now passing is Maung Hi Island. Back in October, 2011, a gang kidnapped 13 Chinese sailors and brutally killed them all. This stretch of water is still dangerous. The border control police around me are now fully armed to deal with any threat.

The forest’s thick canopy provides ample coverage for armed gangs. They used to attack and extort cargo ships sailing up and down the river. But that was before the joint patrols began.

Today, terrorism has emerged as the most immediate threat.

"Sources say Islamic State has plans for countries in south and southeast Asia. The Mekong River is an international water, so we need to prepare for that," said Li Yong, Chinese Commander of 52nd Round of Mekong River Joint Patrol.

When the flotilla approaches the Ban Mom Port near the Golden Triangle, ships from Laos join in.

The patrolling team disembarks and convenes a brief intelligence-sharing meeting.

At night, the scenery changes as casinos and luxury hotels light up the sky line.

"After patrolling for five years, the security condition on the Mekong has improved a lot. Over the years, China has given plenty of support to Laos' law enforcement capacity building, and provided us with goods and materials," said Kham Ping, Lao Commander of 52nd Round of Mekong River Joint Patrol.

The following day, the patrolling team heads for its destination, the Golden Triangle.

Casinos can also be seen across the border in Myanmar.

Border control police have to stop before they enter the waters of Thailand.

"The four countries share the same blessings from the Mekong River. If we work alone, problems will remain, and can never be solved. We should work closer and solve all the problems together," said Rawat Yuentham, Thai Commander of 52nd Round of Mekong River Joint Patrol.

We remain on high alert on the journey back to China’s Guanlei Port, about 250 kilometers away.

Five years after the initial launch, the four countries have decided to expand their cooperation along the upper Mekong.

The work of keeping the Golden Waterway free from danger is far from over.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat