China ready to share water data with Mekong nations, Thailand says

China is ready to share data on water flows into the Mekong River, a longstanding request of downstream Southeast Asian countries, a Thai foreign ministry official said on Friday.

Control of the waters is politically sensitive, and many farmers’ and fishermen’s livelihoods depend on the river. A report published by a U.S. research company this year accused China of holding back large amounts of water during a drought last year, a finding Beijing disputed.

China has no formal water treaties with the lower Mekong countries – Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam – and is currently only sharing limited data during the monsoon season on flows to what it knows as the Lancang River.

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