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Wang Yi: Well Implement "Six Improvements" and Build Lancang-Mekong Community of Shared Future

On December 15, 2017, after attending the 3rd Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Dali, Yunnan, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Chinese and foreign journalists that this meeting has achieved fruitful results. The Joint Press Communiqué was published. The First Batch of Projects of the LMC Special Fund was announced, and the Hotline Platform of LMC National Secretariats/Coordination Units was announced to establish. All sides agreed to make concerted efforts, enhance cooperation, well implement the “Six Improvements”, forge the economic development belt along the Lancang-Mekong River basin, and build a Lancang-Mekong community of shared future.

The first is to improve the level of the mechanism. The Joint Conference of LMC National Secretariats (Coordination Units) of the six countries needs to be established, and the establishment of LMC International Secretariats needs to be discussed in the future. The second is to improve the cooperation breadth. Cooperation areas needs to be expanded on the basis of consolidating the established “3+5 Cooperation Framework” to form “3+5+X Cooperation Framework”. The third is to improve cooperation planning. Principled consensus was reached on the Five-Year Plan of Action of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (2018-2022) and will be submitted to the 2nd Leaders' Meeting for approval. It will be the first development blue print of the LMC mechanism. The fourth is to improve capacity building. Internal and external coordination capacity needs to be enhanced, and supervision and management of projects need to be strengthened. China is willing to provide capacity training for the five countries. The fifth is to improve the awareness for cooperation. The week of the First Leaders’ Meeting held in March 23 every year, will be set as the “Lancang-Mekong Week”. All countries are encouraged to set up websites, issue publications and establish a Lancang-Mekong research think tank network. The sixth is to improve the openness for cooperation. The LMC should have closer alignment with the Belt and Road Initiative and the development strategies of the six countries, achieve sound interaction with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China-ASEAN cooperation, and seek mutual complementation with other sub-region mechanisms, so as to jointly contribute to the development and prosperity in the region.

Wang Yi stressed that the LMC will not be a high-profile “talk shop”, but will be a down-to-earth “bulldozer”. The Foreign Ministers said that the LMC is the shared BABY of the six countries. Though it is not two years old yet from its birth to present, it has started to run and run into the shared beautiful prospects of the six countries in a rapid speed. Wang Yi addressed that the six countries should give play to the advantages of the favorable timing, geographic proximity and the friendship between peoples, make joint efforts and join hands to march forward to forge the economic development belt along Lancang-Mekong River basin and build Lancang-Mekong community of shared future, so as to benefit all countries and their peoples in the region.

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