Mekong River section running through China (Source: i4u.com)

Hanoi (VNA) – The 77th Mekong River joint patrol by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand began on December 18 from Guan Lei port, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan province.

According to Yunnan province’s bureau of public security and border defense, the joint patrol will cover a range of more than 500 kilometers to enhance anti-terrorism capabilities, safeguard security and crack down on cross-border crimes.

The patrol will include anti-terrorism drills, police skill practices and an anti-drug campaign.

The joint patrols started in December 2011 after a gang of criminals hijacked two cargo ships and killed 13 Chinese sailors in Thai waters on October 5, 2011.

The Mekong River is a vital waterway for cross-border shipping among China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.-VNA