Impacts of Cambodia’s Funan Techo Canal and Implications for Mekong Cooperation

How a new Belt and Road project in Cambodia could increase water and flood risks in Vietnam and weaken the 1995 Mekong Agreement.

Cambodia has every right to construct the Funan Techo Canal, a project that gives Cambodia water access the Gulf of Thailand for commercial and other uses. But the way Cambodia’s government has communicated its intents to build the canal is creating diplomatic friction with its neighbor Vietnam.

Regional tensions and environmental impacts of the project will be reduced if Cambodia follows the letter of the 1995 Mekong Agreement.

This article analyzes official documents and recent public discourse around the canal to examine environmental impacts and gaps where more information is needed. The article suggests actions concerned parties can take to prevent a deterioration of Mekong cooperation.

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