Wang Yi urges closer bonds among Lancang-Mekong countries

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday urged the member states of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism to build a closer community with a shared future and create a more interconnected economic development belt.

Wang made the remarks while jointly hosting the eighth Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Beijing with Myanmar's Deputy Prime Minister U Than Swe, who also serves as the country's foreign minister. 

The LMC consists of six countries: China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

The LMC has a high starting point, develops rapidly and brings broad benefits, Wang said, adding that the depth and breadth of cooperation continue to expand, injecting new vitality into the prosperity and development of the sub-region and bringing tangible benefits to the people.

Trade and economic exchanges have comprehensively accelerated over the years, with China's trade volume with Mekong countries reaching $416.7 billion in 2022, doubling from seven years ago, said Wang, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

He said cross-border investments by businesses from the LMC countries have become more active, injecting momentum and vitality into local economic development. The well-being of the people continues to improve, with a series of cooperative projects allowing residents living in the Lancang-Mekong River Basin to tangibly experience LMC's dividends.

China will, together with the Mekong countries, share development opportunities, jointly face risks and challenges, and actively build a community of shared future among LMC countries focused on peace and prosperity, Wang said, adding that they will work hand in hand to create a demonstration area for the Belt and Road Initiative, a pioneer zone for the Global Development Initiative, an experimental zone for the Global Security Initiative and a leading area for the Global Civilization Initiative.

He proposed that the next stage of LMC should focus on directions, such as creating a more interconnected economic development belt for a more digitized development outlook.

Foreign ministers from the Mekong countries highly praised the positive progress achieved in LMC. They agreed that the LMC has become an essential platform for maintaining regional peace and stability, promoting regional development and prosperity, as well as advancing industrialization and modernization in participating countries. 

They also commended China for its active contributions to promoting the LMC and endorsed China's suggestions for the direction of the next stage of work.

08 Dec 2023

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