Government Welcomes Drought Relief Measures by China

Government officials on Wednesday applauded China’s decision to take emergency measures to counter the impact of a regional drought by releasing water into the Mekong River from the Jinghong Hydropower Station in China’s southwestern Yunnan province.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang announced the plan on Tuesday.

“Beginning today and until April 10th, we will carry out water releases at our Jinghong Hydropower Station to minimize the impact of the drought felt by countries including Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam,” he told reporters, according to Chinese state media.

Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday released a statement thanking China, and explaining that the Asian superpower had already discharged 2.3 billion cubic meters of water into the Mekong this year to help the drought-stricken region.

Ministry of Water Resources spokesman Chan Youttha said the drought along the Mekong was the worst in 50 years, noting at low water levels had forced the government to cancel the annual Water Festival boat races in November.

“Millions of people use that water from the Mekong River,” he said.

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