Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed the construction of a community of common destiny among countries along the Lancang-Mekong River at the First Senior Official’s Meeting of Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation.
The meeting, which was held in Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on Monday, was the first of its kind to strengthen subregional cooperation between China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, countries that the Lancang-Mekong River runs through.
Countries along the Mekong River are important partners of China to build an Asian community of common destiny and to boost the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21 Century Maritime Silk Road, and the six countries should seize this great opportunity, Wang said.
Wang’s words were further elaborated by Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, who said, “We should commit ourselves to building three communities.”
These are a community with shared responsibilities, a community of common interests and a community of people-to-people exchanges, which will “maintain regional peace and stability”, “promote development and prosperity” and “promote harmonious relations among all social sectors”, Liu said.
Reiterating countries along the Mekong River as primary cooperation partners in building an Asian community of common destiny and advancing the Belt and Road Initiatives, Liu emphasized the Lancang-Mekong Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism does not contradict the existing mechanisms of the ASEAN Community, such as ASEAN plus China, the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program and the ASEAN Mekong Basin Development Cooperation.
Noppadon Theppitak, deputy permanent secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Thailand, co-chaired the meeting with Liu. “We had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on strengthening cooperation and I think the word ‘Dialogue’ in the meeting’s name should be omitted as we have nothing controversial in the joint development of the subregion,” he said.
Liu also disclosed that the second Senior Official’s Meeting will be held in Thailand by summer and the six countries seek to hold the first Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in China this year.