PM joins other SE Asia leaders, China for Mekong meeting


They agreed that MLC needs to contribute more actively to the region's socio-economic development, narrow the development gap among the member countries, assist the building of the ASEAN Community, and cooperate with other mechanisms like the Greater Mekong Subregion and the Mekong River Commission.

China is the largest trading partner of Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand and the second largest of Laos.

Beijing has pledged billions of dollars to build new infrastructure in Cambodia, officials said, Thursday, as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ended a two-day charm offensive currying favour for its mega-dams across the Mekong River.

At the second Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders' meeting here on Wednesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced that China will provide another 7 billion yuan (1.08 billion US dollars) in government concessional loans to Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The biennial MLC Leaders' Meeting is organised in rotation among the member countries.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc arrived in Hanoi on January 11 morning, wrapping up his attendance in the second Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Leaders' Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, at the invitation of his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen.

In terms of future cooperation, the leaders reaffirmed the goal of building a Mekong-Lancang region of peace, stability, sustainable development and prosperity.

Cooperation among China and the five Lower Mekong countries, which are drinking the same water, is a win-win situation for all of them, he said.

United States envoy pitches for FTA with India
The speech was organised by Carnegie India - India chapter of noted USA think tank. "The US Ambassador to India Kenneth I.

The country's foreign exchange reserves rose to their highest in more than a year in December, blowing past economists' estimates, as tight regulations and a strong yuan continued to discourage capital outflows.

He has also said that he will continue to welcome aid from China, which is poised to overtake the the world's top foreign donor, and which is now Cambodia's largest worldwide aid provider.

Known as the Lancang in China, the Mekong River is vital to Southeast Asia, where more than 60 million people rely on it and its tributaries for food, water and transport.

Within Asean, Cambodia has been known to support China's position by blocking mention of an global tribunal ruling on the South China Sea, a large part of which China claims. The river's basin is home to up to 1,700 fish species, making it the most diverse basin after the Amazon and Congo. Vietnam, already locked in conflict with Beijing over territory in the South China Sea, says it is at particular risk of adverse effects.

China is also seeking to have parts or the river dredged or rapids cleared so that large cargo ships can navigate it. Environmentalists have warned this could have dire consequences on the ecosystem.

They also pledged to work together to handle the issue of legal status of Cambodians of Vietnamese descent in Cambodia in line with Cambodia's law and the spirit of the bilateral friendly neighbourliness.

Initiated by China in 2014, the framework spans connectivity, production capacity, cross-border economic cooperation, water resources management, and agriculture and poverty reduction, benefiting dozens of millions of people living on the waterway.