Interview: China’s Mekong Dam-building Mindset ‘Exported Downstream’ to Cambodia and Laos

The Mekong River extends for thousands of miles through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, supporting more than 65 million people who depend on it for food, transportation, and commerce. But development, mostly led by China, threatens to upset the delicate balance between local communities and the river’s rich ecosystem.

On Monday, the Mekong River Commission (MRC), a platform for regional cooperation among the countries along the key regional waterway, kicked off a two-day forum in Bangkok, Thailand for stakeholders to discuss sustainable transboundary water management amid challenges including a lack of information sharing on upstream dam construction, flooding, decreased fish stocks, and illegal fishing.

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