Opinion / Wang Hui

Water flow will help 'blueberry' system bear healthy fruits

By WANG HUI (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-05 08:13

Water control in the Lancang-Mekong region is an old issue, and disputes between countries in the upper and the lower reaches have flared up from time to time. Therefore, China's efforts to deepen Lancang-Mekong cooperation are widely perceived as a positive signal for strengthening good-neighborly relations with countries in the Mekong region as well as ASEAN member states.

In recent years, China has stepped up infrastructure construction aimed at linking its southwest Yunnan province with Laos and Thailand and other countries in the region through highways, railways and air routes.

In November last year, when Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that it took him 12 hours to cover the distance of some 1,000 kilometers between Hanoi and Jinghong in Yunnan because he had to change flights twice, he probably didn't know fliers would be spared the trouble one month later with the launch of direct flights between Yunnan's provincial capital of Kunming and Hanoi, which take about an hour.

Since most of the states in the Mekong region are in the early stages of industrialization and need better infrastructure, China can share its rich experiences and transfer its high-quality production capacity to them and thus facilitate better connectivity, which in turn will boost the ASEAN's community construction efforts.

The Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism can help the region's countries bridge their differences and work in a more transparent manner to dispel suspicion. There is a good reason to believe the seeds of the "blueberry" mechanism just sowed by leaders of the six countries will not only take root but also bear healthy fruits in the near future.

The author is deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific.

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