Mekong-Lancang Cooperation: China Welcomes MRC’s Call for a Closer Tie

AKP Phnom Penh, November 08, 2018 —

China has welcomed the call of Mekong River Commission – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam – for a closer cooperation between the Lancang Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Centre (LMWRCC) and MRC.

The confirmation was made during a bilateral meeting between the MRC Chief Executive Officer Mr. Pham Tuan Phan and senior Chinese officials, held on the sidelines of the First Lancang Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Forum early this month in Kunming, Yunnan province, China.

“China has welcomed our call to strengthen cooperation between the Lancang Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Centre and MRC for the benefit of the whole Mekong River basin,” CEO Pham said. “We will be working on further identifying key areas of cooperation that are vital to our work for sustainable development of the Mekong River and the basin’s people.”

According to the CEO, Head of Chinese Joint Working Group for the LMWRCC Dr. Yu Xingjun also said that the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation was trying to find possible ways to work with the MRC and that he publicly highlighted the important role of the Commission in the Kunming Forum.

This is in line with what the Chinese Minister of Water Resources Mr. E Jingping stated during the 3rd MRC Summit early this year, saying the “LMC will not replace any sub-regional mechanism … China is willing to work with the MRC and all riparian countries under the existing cooperation mechanisms.”

The MRC is an intergovernmental organisation for regional dialogue and cooperation in the lower Mekong river basin, established in 1995 based on the Mekong Agreement between Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The organization serves as a regional platform for water diplomacy as well as a knowledge hub of water resources management for the sustainable development of the region.