Opinion: A Convention Could Lock In China’s Mekong Cooperation

The success and survival of the Mekong River rests with China: the largest, wealthiest state in the region, positioned in the strategically important upstream. As the Mekong enters its fourth year of drought, certainty about China’s cooperation is no longer desirable — it is essential.

No institutional Mekong agreement simultaneously addresses transboundary effects, meaning Lower Mekong countries are dependent on the goodwill of China. China and Myanmar are the only countries in the region who are not member states of the Mekong River Commission, both are instead “dialogue partners.”

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Kenneth Stiller