Foreign Minister Wang Yi (second from left) and Cambodian Ambassador to China Khek Cai Mealy Sysoda (second from right) inaugurate the Lancing-Mekong Cooperation China Secretariat in Beijing on Friday. (Photo/China Daily)
China launched a secretariat on Friday to enhance cooperation with five countries along the Mekong River.
The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation China Secretariat, set up in the Foreign Ministry, will focus on various tasks, including coordinating and implementing cooperation between China and Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand.
Foreign Minster Wang Yi, joined by envoys from the five countries, said in the launching ceremony that the establishment of the secretariat showed China's determination to work with the five countries to push forward the Lancang-Mekong cooperation.
China and the five countries, he said, agreed that each of them should set up a national secretariat or coordinating agency for cooperation in the first half of this year.
Wang also urged the countries to complete, this year, all 45 early projects they agreed under the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism, which was officially established in the First Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders' Meeting held in Sanya, Hainan province in March 2016.
China and the five countries share water resources provided by the river, which rises in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and runs through Southwest China and the Indochina Peninsula.
The section in China is called the Lancang River, while the section in the Indochina Peninsula is called the Mekong.
Calling the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism "an important part" of cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Countries, Wang said he believed the mechanism will not only improve ties among China and the five countries, but also help the integration of ASEAN.
Khek Cai Mealy Sysoda, Cambodian ambassador to China, said: "Compared with other cooperation mechanisms, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation is more practical, more effective and more in line with people's aspirations."
She said the cooperation will facilitate the movement of people and goods between the countries as well as speed up the development of the region as a whole.