TUESDAY, April 16, 2024
Build a Community with a Shared Future for Lancang-Mekong Countries and Work Together Towards Modernisation
By Han Zhiqiang, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Thailand

Celebrating the 8th Anniversary of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation and the “Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Week 2024”

The Lancang-Mekong River, originating from China and stretching for nearly 5,000 kilometers, flows through the highest number of riparian countries in Asia. The countries “enjoying the same river” form a community with a shared future featuring “equality, sincerity, mutual assistance, and kinship”, while the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism, named after this river, has been warmly received and responded to by all relevant countries once initiated.

This year marks the 8th anniversary of the launch of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism. Guided by the spirit of “development first, equal consultation, pragmatism and efficiency, and openness and inclusiveness”, the six countries have promoted the LMC from sprouting to flourishing, with the mechanism increasingly becoming an important platform for fostering regional economic integration, maintaining peace and stability, and bolstering the well-being of the people.

The LMC architecture has been constantly improved, with deepening cooperation in agriculture, production capacity, connectivity, green energy, innovation, and other fields. More than 700 Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Special Fund projects have been launched, injecting strong impetus into the economic development of countries in the region and basin.

The six countries are committed to accelerating the construction of a strong shield for common security. Practical cooperation in the field of non-traditional security and law enforcement has been further strengthened, with in-depth advancements made in the operation of the “Safety of the Lancang-Mekong Region”, especially in combating cross-border online gambling and scams, drug trafficking, and other criminal activities. The mechanism has also been effective in guaranteeing social stability in the sub-region, ensuring the safety and security of lives and property.

The LMC has helped the six countries further boost ties and mutual understanding, resulting in the successful implementation of people-benefiting projects such as the “Plan on Lancang-Mekong Water Resources”, the “LMC Bumper Harvest Projects”, and the “Green Lancang-Mekong Initiative”. Several events like the International Video Week, Media Summit, Think Tank Forum, and the “Lancang-Mekong Adventure” press group have produced fruitful results. Tourism cooperation and people-to-people exchanges are also making progress every day, while friendships between the people of the six countries are being enhanced year after year.

Thailand is a main initiator and important member of the LMC, and as a co-chair this year, it is playing an increasingly prominent role within the mechanism. During President Xi Jinping’s visit to Thailand in November 2022, the two countries announced a new era of building a China-Thailand community with a shared future. In October last year, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin attended the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China. Under the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries, political mutual trust between China and Thailand has been deepening. Practical cooperation has also been upgraded, and public support of “China and Thailand as one family” has further strengthened.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 72nd birthday of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Thailand when bilateral ties will be standing at a historically new starting point. Meanwhile, China will firmly implement the principles of “Amity, Sincerity, Mutual Benefit, and Inclusiveness” put forward by President Xi for work with Thailand and other countries along the Lancang-Mekong River to share development opportunities and accelerate the building of a closer community as they support each other and work together on the path to modernization to jointly forge a brighter future.