Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference
Reuters: A US state department-funded project was launched today which will use satellites to monitor water levels in Chinese dams on the Mekong River and then make the information public. Do you have any comment on this project?
Wang Wenbin: In recent years, China and Mekong countries have pushed forward Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation despite external noise and interference, and made substantial progress.
First, cooperation in information sharing has been deepened. Since last month, China has started providing Lancang River’s hydrological data for the whole year with the Mekong countries and an information sharing platform of Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation was put in operation recently. The six riparian countries also share major operation of hydropower stations and relevant data in a timely manner with each other through the mechanism of the joint working group on water resources cooperation, thus increasing the transparency of information on Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation.
Second, the upstream hydropower stations have played their full role in reducing the water flow during the wet season and increasing it during the dry season. Since the construction of hydropower stations along the Lancang River, the reservoirs store water in the flood season for later use in the dry season, which has effectively prevented the drastic fluctuation of the discharge flow. During the drought in 2016 and 2019, China did its best to ensure the reasonable discharge of the Lancang River, and conduct emergency water replenishing at the request of the downstream countries, which was unanimously recognized by the Lancang-Mekong countries. The international science community and the Mekong River Commission believe that the Lancang cascade hydropower station will help maintain the stability of the Mekong river flow and is beneficial to the flood control and drought relief efforts of Mekong countries.
Third, Lancang-Mekong River water resources cooperation continued to achieve substantial results. Since LMC was launched, China has helped Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to formulate water basin comprehensive plan and irrigation plan, and assisted downstream countries in flood control and mitigation plan; provided electricity generated by hydropower stations to the downstream countries such as Myanmar and Laos; helped downstream countries to train talents in the field of water conservancy and develop water resources and hydropower, making concrete contributions to promoting the sustainable utilization of water resources and benefiting the people.
The above facts speak volume to the achievements of water cooperation between Lancang-Mekong countries. China welcomes constructive suggestions from countries outside the region on the development and utilization of water resources by Lancang-Mekong countries, but we firmly oppose malicious moves to drive a wedge between us. Facts speak louder than words. China will unswervingly advance Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation and make greater contribution to the six countries’ joint response to drought and flood and promotion of sustainable development.