• Foreign Minister Wang Yi presides over the meeting with foreign ministers from the Mekong countries during the first LMC meeting.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi presides over the meeting with foreign ministers from the Mekong countries during the first LMC meeting. (Photo : www.english.cntv.cn)

Following talks among senior foreign affairs officials from China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar in Jinghong, Yunnan Province, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) framework was officially launched on Thursday, Nov.12, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The framework was named after the Lancang-Mekong River, the natural link between the six countries, the report said.

Like Us on Facebook

The foreign ministers have agreed to cooperate in three key areas as decided during the first LMC meeting. These areas include economic affairs and sustainable development, political security issues, and social affairs and people-to-people exchanges.

The meeting was hosted by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai as co-host.

Some of the officials who attended the meeting include Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Nam Hong, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongloun Sisoulith, Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

Wang said the LMC is the first sub-region cooperation by the six countries, and the cooperation framework is made in accordance with demands for development and for the long-term protection of interests of the six countries.

The foreign affairs officials also urged for more frequent high-level visits and called for joint resolution of traditional and non-traditional security issues, improve connectivity and industrial capacity cooperation, as well as deepen cross-border economic cooperation and make proper use of natural resources for sustainable development.

The report said that the officials have all agreed to keep the LMC open and inclusive and to adapt to other sub-regional frameworks to enhance regional integration.

Wang said that the LMC will not only promote closer cooperation but also economic and social development, as well as enhance sustainable development and narrow the gaps among countries in the Mekong sub-region. This will eventually contribute to the building of the ASEAN community and China-ASEAN cooperation.

The LMC framework was proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Nov. 2014 when he attended the 17th China-ASEAN leaders' meeting. The first and second LMC senior officials' meetings were held in April and August this year, the report said.

According to Wang, his counterparts from Mekong countries discussed the LMC early harvest projects and they expect to see an early implementation of these projects to benefit the people in the region.

During the meeting on Thursday, the officials agreed to undertake 78 cooperation projects, which cover areas like poverty alleviation, infrastructure, water resource management, public health, personnel exchanges, and science and technology.

The officials agreed to consult with their governments and to seek the support from other financial mechanisms and international institutions before the start of the projects.

The first LMC leaders' meeting will be held next year to provide political guidance to LMC's development in the future.