8 years on, LMC promotes unity, mutual trust, development in sub-region: Cambodian official, scholars-Xinhua

8 years on, LMC promotes unity, mutual trust, development in sub-region: Cambodian official, scholars

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-03-20 17:33:45

PHNOM PENH, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Eight years on, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) has promoted unity, mutual trust, stability, and green and sustainable development in the sub-region, a Cambodian official and scholars said.

The LMC countries comprise China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Meas Kim Heng, secretary of state of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and LMC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) leader of Cambodia, said since its inception in 2016, the LMC has contributed to promoting socioeconomic development in the Lancang-Mekong sub-region, reducing development gap and promoting comprehensive cooperation among Lancang-Mekong countries.

He said the China-initiated LMC Special Fund has significantly supported LMC countries in carrying out prioritized economic, social and livelihood projects over the past years.

"These projects have contributed to peace, stability and prosperity in the Lancang-Mekong sub-region," he told Xinhua.

He added that these projects have greatly benefited each member country and improved the well-being of the people in the Lancang-Mekong sub-region.

"The LMC has played a crucial role in promoting unity, mutual trust, peace, stability, sustainable development, and prosperity in the sub-region," he said.

Speaking of China's contribution to the LMC, Kim Heng said China has played an active role in promoting sustainable development in the Lancang-Mekong sub-region, working closely with LMC countries to build a community with a shared future in the sub-region and beyond.

"China has attached great importance to connectivity and economic front, by accelerating its investment and development support both bilaterally and multilaterally in the LMC sub-region to advance the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Economic Development Belt, promoting people-to-people exchanges, technology and digital transformation," he said.

Vun Phanith, a lecturer at the Institute for International Studies and Public Policy, a school of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said the LMC has promoted the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states, which helps prevent conflicts and maintain stability in the sub-region.

He added that the LMC has also promoted shared prosperity and development among member states, emphasizing win-win cooperation rather than zero-sum competition.

"By focusing on mutual benefits and common goals, the LMC fosters a sense of unity and solidarity among member states," he told Xinhua.

Phanith said the LMC has also enhanced connectivity and promoted economic and trade development in Cambodia and other member countries.

"In short, the LMC framework serves as a constructive platform for promoting unity, trust, cooperation, and friendship among member states while countering the Cold War mentality of division and confrontation," he added.

Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Asian Vision Institute's Mekong Center for Strategic Studies, said the LMC has brought numerous development projects to the sub-region such as hydropower development, economic and trade development, water resources management and information sharing, and environmental protection, among others.

"For the last 8 years, the LMC has transformed the region into one of peace, stability, harmony, green and sustainable development, and prosperity," he told Xinhua.

Mengdavid said China is a key contributor to the development of LMC countries, and cooperation between China and the downstream Mekong countries are based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, win-win cooperation and a people-centric approach.

Originating from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China, the river is called the Lancang River in China and the Mekong River when it flows through the lower reaches before emptying into the sea.