1. What is the LMC?
The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation framework was proposed by Premier Li Keqiang in November 2014 during the 17th China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting.
The river originates in China’s Qinghai province and runs through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is known as Lancang in China, and forms a natural link between the six countries.
The LMC is the first subregional cooperation body involving the six countries, and the framework aims to meet their development demands and fundamental, long-term interests.
2. What has been achieved under the LMC framework?
Since early last year, the six countries have held a number of meetings at various levels to reach consensus and strive for progress.
In November, the framework was officially launched in Jinghong, Yunnan province, after talks between senior foreign affairs officials from the six countries.
At the first LMC foreign ministers’ meeting, they decided to cooperate in three key areas－political-security issues, economic affairs and sustainable development, and social affairs and people-to-people exchanges.
3.What is the LMC for?
As a platform for discussion and sharing ideas, it aims to push forward pragmatic projects to benefit the six countries.
At the first LMC foreign ministers’ meeting, 78 cooperation projects were agreed, covering areas such as water resource management, poverty alleviation, public health, infrastructure, personnel exchanges, and science and technology.
4.What will the LMC do?
The countries have enhanced political trust and practical cooperation in recent years. For instance, there have been 43 joint law enforcement operations along the Mekong River.
The LMC also focuses on building infrastructure and boosting connectivity. The Kunming-Bangkok highway is open and construction has started on the China-Laos railway. The China-Thailand railway project has been initiated and a pan-Asia railway linking LMC countries is in the pipeline.
5. What is the future for the LMC?
The first leaders’ meeting marks the establishment of the LMC mechanism. The meeting will outline the body’s future, witness agreements on a number of cooperation deals, and set guidelines for the LMC’s development.