onsdag 2. desember 2020

China faces uphill struggle to win over Mekong neighbours

China has tried to calm the dispute about dam-building and water resources management along the Mekong with a number of conciliatory gestures, but observers say it faces an uphill struggle to win over its neighbours. The move follows efforts by the US to build a strategic partnership with other countries that share the waterway, an intervention that highlights the challenges China faces in winning over the five Southeast Nations after serious droughts, according to one diplomatic observer.

On Monday, Luo Zhaohui, the foreign vice-minister responsible for Asian affairs, accused external powers of interfering in China’s dispute with the countries and instead appealed to Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia to side with Beijing to “build and safeguard our common home”.

“Some countries outside the region have used the Mekong’s water resources repeatedly for political purposes to spread rumours and exaggerate China’s threats, in a bid to sow discord and undermine cooperation between countries in the region,” he said, without naming the United States and its allies.