News

Mekong dam: China cuts river flow 50 per cent, is slammed for lack of warning

China’s decision to hold back the Mekong River’s water flow at a hydropower dam for close to a month will disrupt fisheries and local livelihoods along the waterway that is a lifeline for 60 million people, watchers and activists have warned. The Chinese water resources ministry ...

Catherine Wong and Maria Siow

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

China notifies Mekong River neighbours it is holding back waters

China has notified downstream neighbours it is holding back the Mekong River flow at a hydropower dam on the waterway’s upper reaches for 20 days, as part of a new data-sharing pact, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and Thailand said on Wednesday. The statements came a ...

Panu Wongcha-um, Kay Johnson

Delta blues? Tensions rise along the Mekong as science meets strategy

China has been ramping up its investments with the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism, which – according to American officials – is an attempt to compete with the Mekong River Commission (MRC). A competition over who dominates scientific and technical knowledge of the river indicates an escalation in the complexity of ...

Giulio Boccaletti

Satellites to track Chinese dams on Mekong river, as US likens ‘threat’ facing Southeast Asia to South China Sea

Threats to Southeast Asian unity on the Mekong are as “existential” as those in the South China Sea, according to the United States, which this week launched a project that will use satellites to track water levels at Chinese dams along the river.   David Stilwell, US ...

Maria Siow

Geopolitics plays out on the Mekong with doubts on dams and promises of cooperation

Recent weeks have seen new developments in the ongoing tension over the Mekong river and its waters, as the river basin faces ecological crises and its waters play an ever-larger role in geopolitics. Thailand has announced that it is reconsidering its decision to purchase power from the planned Sanakham ...

Editorial

China unveils early warning and data sharing website to cooperate with Mekong River countries

China made good on its promise to share year-round hydrological data on upper reaches of the Mekong River with the kickoff of an online information sharing platform on Monday. The platform aims to provide reliable forecasting and early warning services related to floods and droughts. China ...

Hu Yuwei Source

Fight for the Mekong gathers pace

More than 20 years ago, when two Chiang Rai-based environmentalists, Niwat Roikaew and Somkiat Kuenwongsa, learned that the Chinese government were blasting rapids in the upper Mekong River from Yunnan to Myanmar and Laos to clear the way for large commercial vessels, they started worrying. Back ...

PASSAKORN JUMLONGRACH

Sebastian Strangio on China in the Mekong region

With far-reaching implications for the upcoming elections in Myanmar and with the US tentatively wading into river governance, the Mekong region has become a contentious staging ground for China’s wider goals in Southeast Asia.  Sebastian Strangio’s new book In the Dragon’s Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century draws ...

Tyler Roney

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