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China to work with MRC on Mekong management 

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) has received a positive response from the Chinese government following the Commission’s call for closer cooperation with the Lancang Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Centre (LMWRCC), said the top official at the MRC Secretariat.

A section of the Mekong in northern Laos. (File photo)

“China has welcomed our call to strengthen cooperation between the Lancang Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Centre and the MRC for the benefit of the whole Mekong River basin,” MRC Chief Executive Officer Mr Pham Tuan Phan said as quoted in an MRC media release.
“We will be working on further identifying key areas of cooperation that are vital to our work for sustainable development of the Mekong River and the basin’s people.”
The public announcement by the MRC was made after Mr Pham Tuan Phan met with senior Chinese officials on the sidelines of the First Lancang Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Forum held on November 1-2 in Kunming, Yunnan province, China.
According to the CEO, the Head of the Chinese Joint Working Group for the LMWRCC, Dr Yu Xingjun, also said the Mekong Lancang Cooperation was trying to find possible ways to work with the MRC and that he publicly highlighted the important role of the Commission in the Kunming Forum.
This is in line with what the Chinese Minister of Water Resources, Mr E Jingping, said at the 3rd MRC Summit earlier this year, saying the “LMC will not replace any sub-regional mechanism … China is willing to work with the MRC and all riparian countries under the existing cooperation mechanisms.”
According to the media release, the MRC Secretariat and LMWRCC also discussed holding technical exchange visits. These visits will provide an avenue for further building relationships and mutual trust, leading to better understanding and cooperation.
At the Kunming Forum, where CEO Pham was invited to deliver a keynote address on ‘international cooperation in water resources management in the Mekong river basin’, he highlighted the uniqueness of the MRC, its achievements over the past 23 years in supporting the member countries, and cooperation with partners from around the world.
Representatives of all the four MRC member countries also made statements and delivered presentations at the Forum on ongoing work and cooperation within the MRC framework, including the implementation of MRC procedural rules and transboundary cooperation projects. 
In his speech, the CEO reiterated the need for much stronger ties between the MRC and China, extending his invitation to the latter to cooperate on various areas.
Chief among them are an invitation for China to consider providing flood forecast data at the Jing Hong hydropower station and sharing hydrological data during the dry season as this will benefit development planning and drought management in the Mekong.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
November 13,

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