Beijing fiddles with the water taps that control Southeast Asian economies

Southeast Asian nations are eyeing Beijing nervously as it fiddles with the water taps that control their economies. But their citizens are alarmed at failed fish migrations and wildly fluctuating river levels. Now they’ve taken their anger to the world.

After four years of drought, the Mekong river system that is the pulsing heart of Southeast Asia has begun to recover. Fish stocks are starting to grow. Flows are again supporting irrigation.

But the same controls over its 4350km length believed to have made the drought worse are now being blamed for widespread unexpected flooding.

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Jamie Seidel