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Crossover: Water security tops the agenda


12-24-2016 03:31 BJT

For more on the second Lancang-Mekong Foreign Ministers meeting, we now go live to our correspondent Martin Lowe in Siem Reap.

Q1: Foreign ministers of six countries attended the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation meeting. Can you tell us a little more about what they discussed?    

Q2: What role is China playing in the meeting?

Not just the way ahead for the Mekong River – but tough questions for the future of the wider Mekong region.

The foreign ministers of six countries the Mekong flows through – China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – are to draw up a five-year plan of action.

Safeguarding water resources was top of the agenda – the conflicting demands of rice farming and fishing … with the new drive to harness hydro-electric power.

But also discussed was international crime – drug smuggling and human trafficking – climate change, poverty reduction and cross-border disease.

China’s representative said all the Lancang Mekong nations faced similar issues.

“We have discussed the regional and global implications of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation organization, injecting a new impetus into China-ASEAN relations and enabling China’s Belt and Road initiative to deliver more tangible benefits,” said Wang Yi, Chinese foreign minister.

Co-hosts Cambodia said all countries faced economic challenges and should work together to achieve prosperity. 

"We are facing a slow recovery of the global economy and our Asian economies as well, renewed nationalism and protectionism from some of our major trading partners and other layers of uncertainty," said Pak Sokhon, Cambodian foreign minister.

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