China cancels plan to blow up Mekong River

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Bangkok – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says China no longer intends to blast rocky islets in the Mekong River after Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos raised concerns about possible after-effects.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said that China had agreed to drop its plan to blow up outcrops and islets in the Mekong River to clear the way for large vessels, after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who paid a visit to Thailand last month, was informed of the three nations’ concerns about the potential negative effects of the blasting.

According to Don, his Chinese counterpart accepted those concerns with understanding and was told that explosions would affect the ecosystem, wildlife species in the area, and people’s livelihoods.

Don pointed out that blowing up the waterway could potentially change the course of the river which flows towards the South China Sea and passes five countries of Southeast Asia.

The Mekong is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia. It is the world’s twelfth longest river and the seventh longest in Asia. From the Tibetan Plateau, the river runs through China’s Yunnan Province, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.