Nations urged to boost cooperation

Li hails Lancang-Mekong mechanism's achievements since its launch in 2016

Premier Li Qiang commended the achievements of Lancang-Mekong cooperation on Monday and called for continued efforts to promote the building of a community with a shared future among the countries involved in the cooperation mechanism — China, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Li made the remarks in Beijing when addressing the fourth Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders' Meeting via video link. The Lancang-Mekong region refers to the countries along the Mekong River, known as the Lancang River in China.

Li co-chaired the meeting with Myanmar's leader, Min Aung Hlaing. Prime Minister Hun Manet of Cambodia, Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone of Laos, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of Thailand, and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh of Vietnam also attended the meeting.

Li said that since the Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism was launched seven years ago, the six nations have built powerful engines for development, established a strong backing for common security, and strengthened the bonds of mutual understanding.

The building of a Lancang-Mekong community with a shared future has made positive progress, he added.

Li put forward proposals for enhancing Lancang-Mekong cooperation, saying that the countries should deepen planning for integrated development, implement strategic projects with mutual connectivity, and enhance partnership in economy and trade, industrial capacity, agriculture and intelligent manufacturing.

He underlined the need to fully respect the legitimate rights and interests of each country in the rational development and use of water resources, and explore cooperation in the management of the whole Lancang-Mekong river basin.

Efforts should be made to strengthen security governance and vigorously crack down on crimes such as cybercrime, illegal gambling and telecommunications fraud, Li said.

He also called for deepening people-to-people exchanges and fostering new growth drivers in youth exchanges, think tanks and subnational cooperation.

The foreign leaders expressed their sincere condolences to China regarding the casualties caused by the recent earthquake in Gansu and Qinghai provinces.

They also thanked China for its outstanding contributions to promoting Lancang-Mekong cooperation.

They said that the six countries should be committed to sharing opportunities and meeting challenges together, jointly plan for the future development of Lancang-Mekong cooperation, and build the Lancang-Mekong Economic Development Belt, thus creating a community with a shared future among Lancang-Mekong countries.

During the meeting, the leaders issued a joint declaration, the Five-Year Action Plan for Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (2023-27) and the joint initiative on building the Lancang-Mekong innovative corridor.

Thailand will take over the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation co-chairmanship with China this year.