Mekong nations to have new cooperation mechanism hinh anh 1A forum of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (Source: VNA)
Six Mekong River-sharing countries will kick off a new cooperation mechanism at a ministerial meeting in November to cope with a wide range of issues for regional development, a senior Chinese official was quoted by The Nation as saying.

Zhang Jiuhuan, Vice Chairman of the China Public Diplomacy Association, and ex-Ambassador to Thailand said the Foreign Ministers from Thailand, Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam will gather on November 12 in China’s Yunnan province to jumpstart the Mekong-Lancang cooperation mechanism.

The six Mekong states already have a number of cooperation mechanisms, including the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) - for infrastructure development – the Mekong River Commission (MRC) - for water utilisation management and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) - for five countries but which excludes China.

These mechanisms cover only specific issues and areas of cooperation, Zhang said, stressing the need to have a new cooperation mechanism which will cover all aspects of political security, economics and social affairs.

Zhang, who is a former Chinese ambassador to Thailand, was in Thailand in early October to promote the new mechanism.

The idea of having such a mechanism was initiated by Thailand a few years ago and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang explored possibilities to have it during an informal meeting with his counterparts from the Mekong countries on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Myanmar in 2014.

The Mekong River and the Lancang River run through China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.-VNA