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LMC leaders’ meeting boosts China-ASEAN cooperation

Updated: Mar 25,2016 4:54 PM

Premier Li Keqiang presided over the First Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting, held in Sanya, Hainan province, on March 23. The meeting issued two major documents.

Researchers said the meeting marked the starting point of the Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism, a significant development that will further advance China-ASEAN cooperation.

Chen Fengying, director of the World Economy Department at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said the mechanism will help to turn related countries’ demand into a driving force for development.

A leaders’ meeting, a foreign ministers’ meeting, three senior officials’ meetings and three working group meetings had been held in the year since the mechanism was proposed in Nov 2014.

Lei Zhuning from Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences said upgrading to a leaders’ meeting will definitely strengthen the mechanism’s efficiency and practicality.

The Sanya Declaration of the First Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Leaders’ Meeting said that the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation will be conducted within a framework featuring leaders’ guidance, all-around cooperation and broad participation. This is aimed, it said, at building a community of peace and prosperity and establishing the LMC as an example of a new type of international relations, featuring win–win cooperation.

The meeting also made it clear that the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation will give priority to connectivity, production capacity cooperation, cross-border economic cooperation, water resources cooperation and agriculture and poverty reduction.

The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation is a supplement to the current regional cooperation mechanisms and will further benefit people in the region, Chen said.

Lei said China’s decision to release water from its Jinghong Dam recently was hailed as a goodwill gesture that augurs well for the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation.