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Wang Yi On the Mekong River Drought


On August 2, 2019 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave his views on the drought along the Mekong River at the 20th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

Wang Yi said, the Lancang-Mekong river is vitally important for both China and the ASEAN countries. Both sides have shared future, and the close cooperation between the upper and lower reaches of the river constitutes a major part of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation. We have noticed that the drought happened in some areas of the lower reaches of the Mekong River this year. In fact, both the lower and upper reaches of the Lancang River suffered drought. Taking into account the needs of the countries along the lower reaches, the Chinese side has overcome its own difficulties and taken the initiative to increase releasing of water downstream at an amount exceeding the normal level. It is hoped that the Chinese side's goodwill measures will help relieve drought in the lower reaches. In addition, the runoff of the Lancang River accounts for only 13.5 percent of the total volume in the whole Mekong river basin and the inflow from downstream tributaries and rainfall distribution in the area is among major factors affecting the streamflow of the lower reaches. Wang Yi noted, the irresponsible remarks from some non-regional countries are not based on facts and will not be accepted by the downstream countries.

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