(From left) Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Laos' Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Myanmar Vice President Myint Swe link arms during the second Mekong-Lancang cooperation leaders' meeting at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on Jan 10, 2018. (TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP)
PHNOM PENH – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday that leaders of the Lancang-Mekong countries reached consensus relevant to their shared future at the second Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders' meeting.
Leaders of China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam agreed to deepen cooperation with the principle of equality, inclusiveness and real action, Li, one of the co-chairs of the meeting, said at a press conference held after the event.
The Lancang-Mekong River connects the six countries together and also binds their destiny together
Li Keqiang, Chinese Premier
The second LMC leaders' meeting kicked off in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh on Wednesday, with a theme of "Our River of Peace and Sustainable Development."
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Premier Li co-chaired the meeting, which also brought together Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Myanmar Vice President U Myint Swe.
In his opening remarks, Hun Sen said the Sanya Declaration of the first LMC leaders' meeting was a promise by the six Lancang-Mekong countries to develop the newly-established LMC into a full cooperation mechanism that would bring peace, security, economic growth and prosperity for the region.
"Our regional experience has reaffirmed that we can achieve peaceful co-existence through mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and non-interference in each other's internal affairs," he said.
"This is consistent with the values of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation which adhere to the principles of consensus, equality, mutual consultation and coordinated voluntarism, common contribution and shared benefits, and respect for the United Nation Charter and international law."
Initiated by China in 2014, the LMC focuses on five priority areas of cooperation: connectivity, production capacity, cross-border economic cooperation, water resources management, as well as agriculture and poverty reduction.
Premier Li arrived in Phnom Penh Wednesday for the meeting and an official visit to Cambodia.
He was welcomed by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong and Cham Prasidh, Cambodian senior minister and minister of industry and handicraft, at the airport.
The Lancang River originates on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in southwest China. It is called the Mekong River as it flows through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before emptying into the sea.
The Lancang-Mekong River connects the six countries together and also binds their destiny together, Li said.
Since its inception, the LMC has seen rapid development and fruitful results as it accords with the region's common willingness to seek development and unity as well as promote development, he said.
China is willing to work with all related parties to jointly review the progress made through the sub-regional cooperation mechanism and plan its future development, so as to push forward the mechanism from its nurturing period into the growing period and inject dynamism into regional development and prosperity, Li said.
Li said he expects stronger Lancang-Mekong cooperation and more progress in China-Cambodia relations in a signed article published on Tuesday.
His article, titled "Building bridges of friendship and cooperation in the Lancang-Mekong region and between China and Cambodia", was published in the Khmer Times, a leading English language newspaper in Cambodia.
Noting that this year celebrates 60 years of China-Cambodia diplomatic ties, Li said: "We have given each other mutual support throughout the years when it comes to issues concerning our core interests, major concerns and principles of national dignity, sovereignty and independence."
"The great friendship spanning more than half a century between King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Chinese leaders has become a legend in the history of China-Cambodia and even international exchanges," he said.
During his stay in Cambodia, Li will meet with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, hold talks with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, and witness the signing of cooperation agreements in such areas as politics, economy and trade, health, forestry, agriculture and people-to-people exchanges.
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