China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand launched their first round of joint patrols on the Mekong River in 2016 on Tuesday morning, guarding the waterway against criminal activity.
Patrol ships set sail at 8 a.m. from Guanlei Port in Xishuangbanna, southwest China's Yunnan Province.
The four-day patrol involves eight law enforcement ships, including five from China and another three from Laos.
Law enforcement personnel from the four countries will carry out checks in the Golden Triangle region to prevent crimes such as drug, gun and human smuggling.
The joint patrols started in December 2011 to tackle safety concerns raised after a gang hijacked two cargo ships and killed 13 Chinese sailors in Thai waters on Oct. 5, 2011.
It is the 42nd round of joint patrols on the Mekong River since 2011.