January 11, 2018 - tom
China, Mekong countries launch Lancang-Mekong Cooperation framework
KUNMING, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) — The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) framework was officially launched on Thursday following talks among senior foreign affairs officials from China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam in Jinghong, Yunnan Province.
FOCUSING ON THREE KEY AREAS
The Lancang-Mekong River is a natural link between the six countries.
At the first LMC foreign ministers’ meeting, they decided to cooperate in three key areas – politico-security issues, economic affairs and sustainable development, and social affairs and people-to-people exchanges.
At the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Nam Hong, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongloun Sisoulith, Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh attended the meeting, and Wang Yi and Don Pramudwinai co-hosted the meeting.
The LMC is the first sub-region cooperation by the six countries involved, and the cooperation framework is in accord with development demands, and the fundamental, long-term interests of the six countries, Wang said.
The foreign affairs officials also expressed their willingness to have more frequent high-level visits, jointly deal with threat of traditional and non-traditional security issues, improve connectivity and industrial capacity cooperation, deepen cross-border economic cooperation, make proper use of natural resources and achieve sustainable development.
PROMOTING REGIONAL INTEGRATION
The representatives reached a consensus that the LMC will be open and inclusive, and it will work with other sub-regional frameworks to promote regional integration.
The six countries along the Lancang-Mekong River have close geographical, social and cultural link, Don Pramudwinai said, noting the LMC framework is equally participated and jointly built by the six countries, and it will create more common benefit.
U Wunna Maung Lwin expressed his hope that the LMC framework will strengthen friendly relationships and win-win cooperation in the region.
Closer cooperation among the six countries will promote economic and social development, enhance sustainable development and narrow the gaps among countries in the Mekong sub-region so as to contribute more to the building of the ASEAN community and China-ASEAN cooperation, Wang said.
The LMC framework was proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in November 2014 when he attended the 17th China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting. As a follow-up to the initiative, the first and second LMC senior officials’ meetings were held in April and August this year.
DISCUSSING EARLY HARVEST PROJECTS
According to Wang, his counterparts from Mekong countries discussed the LMC early harvest projects and they expect to see an early implementation of these projects to benefit the people in the region.
At the meeting on Thursday, 78 cooperation projects were raised by the officials from six countries, which cover areas like water resource management, poverty alleviation, public health, infrastructure, personnel exchanges, science and technology.
To carry these projects forward, Wang called for government policy support, capital investment, personnel training and think tank construction.
When discussing the funding of these projects, they agreed it would be at the consultation of the governments concerned and the support from other financial mechanisms and international institutions will also be considered.
They suggested the first LMC leaders’ meeting be held next year, which is expected to provide political guidance to LMC’ s development in the future.