Lancang-Mekong Cooperation: Blessing or curse?

The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) marked its third anniversary last week with the announcement that China’s trade with the five Mekong member countries – Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam – has reached over US $260 billion for the period, highlighting the overarching role China plays in these five countries’ economies.

A sub-regional cooperation mechanism connecting the six countries along the Mekong river, which is known as Lancang in China, the LMC was formed in March 2016 and has since seen China emerge as a willing investor and guarantor for everything ranging from agriculture to tourism as part of its wider Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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