The Diplomat

Despite COVID-19 Crunch, China-Mekong Integration Continues

Earlier this week, Myanmar and China formally agreed to begin work on an important section of a long-delayed railway project running from Yunnan province to the Indian Ocean. On January 10, the state-run Myanmar Railways and the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group (CREEG) signed an agreement to conduct ...

Sebastian Strangio

In the Face of Criticism, Laos Pushes Ahead With Four Mekong Dams

As a struggling least developed country, Laos stands alone when it comes to ignoring common sense and pushing ahead with infrastructure development that it can ill-afford and is unlikely to deliver its much hoped-for rags to riches outcome. Energy and Mines Minister Sinavav Souphanouvong made that ...

Luke Hunt

China Belatedly Notifies Mekong Nations of River Disruption

Earlier this week, I wrote about the sudden drop in water levels along the Mekong River in northern Thailand, and their likely link to the filling of a dam reservoir upstream in China. The fall first became apparent on January 4, when locals in the Thai port town ...

Sebastian Strangio

Mekong Levels Reportedly Plummet Due to Chinese Dam Activity

Water levels on the Mekong River have fallen due to the filling of a Chinese dam on the upper reaches of the river in Yunnan province, according to locals and river monitors. The fall was reported on January 4, when locals in the Thai port town ...

Sebastian Strangio

Hydropower vs Heritage: Will Laos Lose Luang Prabang?

The Lao government’s high-risk plan to install a massive dam on the Mekong River, perilously close to the renowned UNESCO World Heritage site of Luang Prabang, shows a disregard for its legal obligations to protect the renowned site, according to conservation experts. Minja Yang, the former ...

Tom Fawthrop

China Building Massive Myanmar Border Wall: Reports

Reports have emerged that the Chinese government is constructive a 2,000-kilometer reinforced fence along its coiling border with Myanmar, following a spike in COVID-19 cases in the latter country. According to a report in Radio Free Asia (RFA), the giant undertaking has been codenamed the “Southern Great Wall” ...

Sebastian Strangio

Myanmar’s Long COVID-19 First Wave Continues

The coronavirus continues its rapid spread in Myanmar, with the number of confirmed cases surpassing 90,000 and threatening to spread to neighboring countries. After months of being relatively untouched by the virus, the country is now the third-most affected nation in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia and the ...

Sebastian Strangio

Australia Mulling Hefty Aid Injection for Lower Mekong Nations

The Australian government is reportedly preparing to bolster its aid programs in Southeast Asia, as concern in Canberra mounts about China’s growing influence in the region. According to an October 12 report in The Age, Australia is finalizing a Southeast Asian aid package that would inject of ...

Sebastian Strangio

Golden Triangle Casino Baron Bankrolls New Mekong River Port

A sanctioned Chinese casino magnate is backing the construction of a new international port on the Mekong River in Laos, adjacent to his Golden Triangle gambling and tourism complex. Zhao Wei, the chairman of the Kings Romans Group, broke ground on the $50 million port development ...

Sebastian Strangio

How Meaningful is the New US-Mekong Partnership?

On September 11, the United States and the five lower Mekong nations launched a new framework for multilateral cooperation amid rising concerns about China’s expanding influence in mainland Southeast Asia. In announcing the new Mekong-U.S. Partnership at a meeting in Hanoi, the U.S. State Department pledged  at ...

Sebastian Strangio

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