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Lancang-Mekong cooperation benefits residents, Wang says

By ZHAO JIA | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-07-05 07:44

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (center left) and Myanmar's Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin (center right) join in the reopening ceremony of the refurbished Zhou Enlai Pavilion in Bagan, Myanmar, on Sunday. ZHANG DONGQIANG/XINHUA

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China called for upgrading Lancang-Mekong cooperation to deliver more tangible benefits to people in the area and set a good example for regional cooperation, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday.

Wang made the remark when co-chairing the seventh Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers' Meeting with Myanmar's Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin in the city of Bagan, Myanmar. Foreign ministers from Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam attended the meeting.

Wang said Lancang-Mekong cooperation has become a "golden model" for regional cooperation since its inception in 2016.

Wang underscored that the six countries should adhere to good-neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperation, share development achievements and jointly address challenges.

Wang suggested jointly building a demonstration area for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, a zone of pioneering efforts under China's Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and a more resilient Lancang-Mekong economic development belt.

Efforts should be made in six fields including strengthening strategic guidance, deepening economic integration, expanding agricultural cooperation, sticking to green development, boosting digital cooperation and enhancing people-to-people bonds, Wang said.

He added that China always upholds the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and it is willing to share cooperative dividends with Mekong countries to increase development momentum.

Wang announced at the meeting that China would unveil six major projects for Mekong countries, with cooperation in such fields as agriculture, water resources, digital economy and public health.

China will carry out 100 projects for Mekong countries to promote agricultural technology and provide safety examinations for 20 reservoirs and dams to ensure flood control, food, water supply and ecological security for 70 million people in the Mekong River basin, he said. The Mekong River is known as the Lancang where it flows in China.

Wang said China welcomes the five countries to join in the international lunar research station hosted by China and would provide training for them.

China will offer 2,000 academic scholarships to Mekong countries and provide training opportunities for 2,000 people from the five countries, Wang said.

The foreign ministers welcomed China's six plans and projects for Mekong countries. They stressed that China's two initiatives complemented Lancang-Mekong cooperation and are of significant importance to tackling current global challenges.

They pledged to deepen cooperation in major areas to advance inclusive and sustainable development for Lancang-Mekong cooperation and build the six countries into a community safeguarding sovereign equality and multilateralism.

The meeting reviewed the Five-Year Plan of Action of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (2023-27) and witnessed the releasing of a joint communique as well as four other joint statements.

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