(Photo Source: CGTN)

Key Documents of Mekong-Lancang Cooperation

Overview of Mekong-Lancang Cooperation

The Mekong river is also known as Lancang in Chinese having more than 60 million people who depend on its tributaries for foods, fisheries, transports, and other aspects. It is one of the world’s most diverse fisheries, second only to Brazil’s Amazon River.

The Mekong_Lancang Cooperation (MLC) was proposed by the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Nov 2014 at the 17th China-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting. As a follow-up to the initiative, the first and second MLC Senior Officials’ Meetings were held in April and August 2014. On November 12, 2015, the first Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Mekong-Lancang River cooperation was held in Jinghong, Yunnan Province, under the theme of “Nourished by the Same River, Linked by the Common Destiny“, all parties carried out in-depth discussion about further enhancement of cooperation among countries along the Mekong- Lancang River and reached extensive consensus. Foreign Ministers agreed to launch the MLC process and announced the official establishment of the MLC mechanism.

Structure of MLC

The Mekong-Lancang Summit will be held in every two years; and the Special Summit can be convened in case of necessity. With regard to the Ministerial Meeting will be conducted annually. MLC has put in place a multi-faceted and wide-ranging cooperation framework including:

  • High Level Meeting:
    • Leaders’ Meetings,
    • Foreign Ministers’ Meetings,
    • Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM), and
    • Diplomatic Working Group Meetings.
  • Joint Working Groups in Priority Areas
    • Production Capacity ,
    • Connectivity,
    • Cross-Border Economic Cooperation,
    • Agriculture,
    • Water Resources, and
    • Poverty Reduction.

Member Countries and Purposes

There are six member countries under this sub-regional cooperation, including  Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. With the strong commitment of the Leaders, the MLC will be open and inclusive, and it will work with other sub-regional frameworks to promote regional integration (other sub-regional cooperation includes: Mekong-Japan Cooperation, Mekong-Korea Cooperation, Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (India), ACMECS, GMS, and US-Lower Mekong Initiative.)

3+5 Cooperation

Over the past year, MLC have developed the framework and adopted the concept paper for cooperation. MLC have identified the three cooperation pillars of political and security issues, economic and sustainable development, and social, cultural and people-to-people exchanges as well as the five key priority areas, namely, connectivity, production capacity, cross-border economic cooperation, water resources, agriculture and poverty reduction, and implemented many projects beneficial to our people. These efforts have laid a solid foundation for all-round and long-term cooperation among LMC countries.