Mekong Nations Promise Cooperation But Skip Disputes Over Damming The River

South Korea embraced the five Southeast Asian nations on the Mekong River in a seemingly bold plan for developing the river in the interests of “people, peace and prosperity” but glossed over the dangers facing its existence.

Yes, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in declared “the development of Mekong is that of Korea.” No, neither he nor leaders of the five Mekong nations, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, said a word about the issues that threaten the mighty river and the millions who depend on it for survival.

China was conspicuous not only by its absence from any role in the gabfest in Busan but also by the failure of any of the participants to mention their concerns about China, whose power and influence deeply affects all of them.

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Donald Kirk