On 24 August 2020, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the virtual third Mekong – Lancang Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting, together with high-ranking leaders from the six member countries; Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defence, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of War Invalids and Social Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Government Office joined the Prime Minister to attend the virtual meeting.
Under the theme “Enhancing Partnerships for Shared Prosperity”, the meeting served to review cooperation successes and gaps and to discuss its further orientation. The leaders acknowledged the important progress achieved through enhanced Mekong River water management, governance and technical implementation. More than 300 technical assistance projects have been implemented with support of the Mekong-Lancang Special Fund. Furthermore, the Mekong Research Centre and specialised cooperation centres have been established and operations begun.
Towards future cooperation orientation, the leaders reaffirmed their determination to jointly build a Mekong – Lancang region of peace, stability, sustainable development and prosperity, and agreed to deepen cooperation. The countries also agreed to make more effective use of the MLC Special Fund and improve the quality and practicality of the project, thereby bringing practical benefits to the people of the six countries.
The leaders further agreed that in the face of increasingly serious impacts from climate change, riparian countries should promote the sharing of hydrological data, conduct joint research and policy dialogue, and improve management of floods and droughts in close coordination with the Mekong River Commission. Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, said that China was willing to share the year-round hydrological data from the Lancang River (which is the section of the Mekong River that flows through Chinese territory). Against the unprecedented challenges the region is facing due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister emphasised that cooperation should focus on minimizing the negative effects of COVID-19, prevent disruptions in the supply chain, and meet the production and business needs of enterprises.
At the end of the meeting, the leaders of the six member countries approved the Vientiane Declaration summarizing the discussed objectives and witnessed the transfer of the Co-Chair role from Lao PDR to the Federal Republic of Myanmar.