China reaffirms ties with Cambodia with new deals

China, Asia leaders discuss Mekong dam projects

China reaffirms ties with Cambodia with new deals

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, facing Western donor pressure over a crackdown on critics ahead of 2018 elections, is seeking more aid and investment from China.

They are joined by leaders from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. He's leading discussions in partnership with Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen.

He made the remarks during a speech in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Wednesday, according to Xinhua.

When China and the leaders of nations along the Mekong River meet on Wednesday at the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation summit in Cambodia, a top item is to be mapping out a five-year development plan that would include building hydropower dams and other projects for the region - pointing to its importance in China's ambitious Belt and Road infrastructure plan.

In recent months, Kem Monovithya has attended a panel meeting with the USA and European Union permanent missions to the United Nations, where she requested that Cambodia's seat at the world body be withheld, called for economic sanctions against Cambodia's government, and requested visa restrictions be put in place to punish Cambodian officials responsible for curbing democracy in the country. China is Cambodia's biggest source of aid, investment and imports.

Leaders of the six riparian countries held their first meeting in China in 2016 and the next summit is to take place in Laos in 2020.

The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation was established by Beijing in 2015.

China, Asia leaders discuss Mekong dam projects
China reaffirms ties with Cambodia with new deals

The Mekong River, known as the Lancang in China, is the heart of mainland Southeast Asia.

They will also discuss the socio-economic development of the member countries and the reduction of the gap among them, the support for the Association of South Eastern Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the boost of South-South Cooperation as a contribution to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Speaking at the meeting, PM Phuc affirmed Vietnam's attachment of importance and contribution to MLC over the past years.

Foreign ministers from the six countries through which the Mekong flows met in southwestern China last month to approve a draft of a five-year development plan for the river. The Mekong-Lancang countries should be assisted to make use of opportunities from Industry 4.0 through sharing experience, knowledge and technology to promote industrialisation in the member nations; developing businesses and training skillful labourers; attracting resources into infrastructure development and creating conditions for projects to tap their potential and strength; providing jobs for people; enhancing cooperation in researching and transferring technology to develop agriculture, especially hi-tech organic farming.

Priorities in the short term should include increasing sharing information and hydro-meteorological statistics, cooperating in response to drought and flood, conducting joint scientific studies, and considering the building of regulations on inter-reservoir operations along the Lancang-Mekong River, the Vietnamese leader said.

Beijing has pledged billions of dollars to build new infrastructure in Cambodia, officials said, Thursday, as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ended a two-day charm offensive currying favour for its mega-dams across the Mekong River.

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