On 20 February, the Fifth Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Vientiane, Laos. The meeting was co-chaired by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, and attended by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Union Minister for International Cooperation of Myanmar Kyaw Tin, and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
Wang Yi pointed out in his remarks that for nearly four years since the inception of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), the mechanism building has been improving, cooperation expanding and internal growth drivers strengthening. The LMC awareness has taken root in people's heart, promoting development of the relations between the Lancang-Mekong countries. LMC is entering the stage of all-round development from that of rapid expansion. Existing initiatives should be implemented at a faster pace. At the same time, areas of cooperation should be more clearly identified, driving forces of cooperation more dynamic and outcomes of cooperation more fruitful on the way forward. To that end: First, we should start from enhancing trade connectivity. We need to form synergies between LMC and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and accelerate the building of the Lancang-Mekong Economic Development Belt. Second, we should advance cooperation in public health. We should take this joint fight against the epidemic as an opportunity, explore the building of a joint response mechanism for major public health emergencies, and make public health and security a new driving force for LMC. Third, we should deepen water resource cooperation. China is ready to actively consider sharing whole-year hydrological information of the Lancang River with Mekong countries and ensure reasonable and sustainable use of water resources. Fourth, we should further promote agricultural cooperation. We need to promptly implement the LMC Three-Year Action Plan on Agricultural Cooperation (2020-2022). On that basis, we need to use LMC agriculture cooperation mechanisms well to bring in more products from Mekong countries to the Chinese market. Fifth, we should redouble efforts to improve people's livelihood and make good use of the LMC Special Fund programs so as to increase people's sense of fulfillment. Sixth, we should actively conduct non-traditional security cooperation, enhance exchanges over governance, share development experiences and jointly defend peace and tranquility in border areas. Seventh, we should facilitate coordinated development of subregional mechanisms, strengthen communication with such mechanisms as Greater Mekong Subregion Cooperation (GMS), the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to produce greater effect.
Foreign ministers at the meeting expressed their firm support for China's battle against COVID-19 and their confidence in China's ability to triumph over the outbreak at an early date. The foreign ministers reviewed the implementations of the outcomes of the second LMC Leaders' Meeting and the fourth Foreign Ministers' Meeting. The ministers of Mekong countries expressed appreciation to China for its support for the social and economic development of their countries, and their satisfaction with the progress under current cooperation frameworks, in particular with cooperation in water resources and livelihood projects. They believed that deepening LMC can better prepare the countries for challenges. The foreign ministers of Mekong countries agreed with State Councilor and Foreign Minister's proposals on LMC for the next phase, and agreed to make good planning and preparations for the third Leaders' Meeting this year.
The Joint Press Communique of the Fifth Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers' Meeting was adopted at the meeting.