This week, representatives from the defense committees of the legislatures of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam met for another iteration of a security meeting. The engagement highlighted ongoing efforts by the three countries to advance collaboration in the defense domain in spite of the significant challenges that remain in doing so.
As I have noted before in these pages, the mainland Southeast Asian nations through which the Mekong River – one of the world’s largest, longest rivers – flows have been working on ways to manage shared opportunities and challenges as well as lingering differences between them over the years through a range of cooperative mechanisms that extend from the high levels of government down to their localities.
One configuration within that is trilateral cooperation between Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, which has at times been collectively termed Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) triangular cooperation. Though CLV collaboration initially focused on economic areas, including the development of a CLV Growth Triangle, there have also been efforts to build out other areas as well, including in the security domain.