Mekong survey draws protests

A network of environmentalists is getting ready to protest against a Chinese government survey of the Khon Pi Long rapids in Chiang Rai. The Chinese team on April 18 began its 50-day study of the rapids, which lie along the Mekong River. Environmentalists fear China wants to remove the rapids with explosives to clear a passage along the river, which they say will harm the river’s ecology and local communities. Jeerasak Inthayos, coordinator of the Rak Chiang Khong Conservation Group, said the group and its partners will begin demonstrating on Friday, along with local people. According to the plan, the Chinese will explore 15 parts of the rapids. This covers a 96km section of the Mekong River starting from the Golden Triangle, a mountainous area where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos conjoin, to Kaeng Pha Dai in Chiang Rai’s Wiang Kaen district. 

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