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China Daily Website

Mekong River patrol concludes amid cooperation

Updated: 2012-09-26 21:50
( Xinhua)

KUNMING - The latest round of joint patrols on the Mekong River in the Golden Triangle region concluded on Wednesday amid closer regional cooperation to stabilize the southeast Asian watercourse that is vulnerable to crime.

The six-day patrol, launched by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, has seen 23 ships, 85 personnel, 1,350 tonnes of cargos and four vehicles checked by police officers, according to the mission's headquarters.

"The latest patrol has further deepened cooperation between countries along the Mekong River," said Zhu Dezhong, commander of the patrol fleet.

He said the patrol also expanded security cooperation among the four countries on the river.

The patrol, the sixth round of its kind since last December, started last week as six suspects went on trial in southwest China's Yunnan Province for their alleged involvement in an attack on the river that left 13 Chinese sailors dead last year.

The latest joint patrol has seen shipping on the river gradually recovering from the slump triggered by frequent attacks and hijacking.

Statistics show that the number of international ships on the Mekong has increased by 37.4 percent since the beginning of September. The figure is nearly where it was prior to last year's deadly assault.

However, Zhu also said that security challenges remain in the Golden Triangle region and some water areas along the river, where drug and weapon smuggling is still frequent.