Bagan, 6 July 2022 (TDI): The seventh Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on July 4, 2022, in Bagan, Myanmar.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi, and Myanmar’s Foreign Minister, Wunna Maung Lwin led the meeting. Alongside, the meeting was also attended by the Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Saleumxay Kommasith.

The Lancang-Mekong area is a region with immense development potential in Asia and beyond. Although Lancang and Mekong differ in name, the two refer to the same river.

It is an important river running across the Indo-China Peninsula and China that originates from China’s Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with its source in Yushu of Qinghai Province.

The river is known as Lancang in China, while after flowing out of Yunnan Province in its downstream, it is known as the Mekong River that runs across Myanmar, Thailand, Laos Cambodia, and Vietnam,

The Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Prak Sokhonn, the Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, and the Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son also attended the meeting.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s statement

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi said that since the LMC started, the six countries have worked together to promote the high-level development of the new sub-regional mechanism.

Further, he added that these countries have done this by setting a good example of how to work together in the region.

In the same way, Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed that, as the world enters a new era of volatility and change, the LMC should be upgraded so that it can weather the storm of profound global transformations.

To bring more benefits to the citizens of the six countries, steady and consistent progress must be made.

“In order to set a better example for regional cooperation, we should stay on the right path and innovate.” Wang Yi said.

Foreign Minister stated further, “China hopes that the six countries will remain true to the original aspiration of “sharing the same river and a common future,” uphold the cooperation concept of development first, equality, practicality and efficiency, openness and inclusiveness, make unremitting and concerted efforts to seek cooperation and promote development, and jointly build a demonstration zone for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, a pioneer zone for the Global Development Initiative (GDI), and a regional center for Belt and Road cooperation (GSI).”

Building Lancang-Mekong Community

By doing this, a Lancang-Mekong community with a shared future and a more resilient Lancang-Mekong Economic Development Belt will be built, Wang Yi added.

According to him, the six countries have diligently implemented the consensus reached at the third LMC Leaders’ Meeting and collaborated to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and construct an “immunity shield.”

Furthermore, Foreign Minister Wang Yi added that significant contributions need to be made to ensure regional stability and prosperity through joint efforts to expand cooperation on people’s welfare and create a “happy homeland.”

Along these lines, he mentioned that the countries should take advantage of the chance. For the expansion of regional cooperation, more steps should be taken to strengthen the foundations, and make more plans for the long term.

Similarly, Wang Yi expressed that the member countries should elevate the LMC to a new level by focusing on six key areas.

These areas include strengthening strategic direction, deepening economic integration, and expanding agricultural cooperation.

In the same way, adhering to green development, promoting digital cooperation, and maintaining cultural and interpersonal exchanges were emphasized by him.

Wang Yi declared that China will implement the One Hundred Ten Thousand Action Plan. This plan will cover on Lancang-Mekong Agricultural Cooperation, and the Plan on Lancang-Mekong Water Resources benefiting the People.

In parallel, the Cooperation Plan on Lancang-Mekong Digital Economy, the Lancang-Mekong Space Cooperation Plan, the Lancang-Mekong Talent Plan, and the Lancang-Mekong Public Health Cooperation Plan will be implemented in order to share the benefits of cooperation with the Mekong nations.

Affirmations by Foreign Ministers

The participating Foreign Ministers discussed the theme, “Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity”. They also agreed that LMC not only benefits the people of the LMC countries but also vigorously promotes regional peace.

Moreover, they thanked China for its key role in moving the LMC forward. They praised the GDI and GSI that China had proposed and stressed that the LMC and the two other initiatives, which complement and build on each other, are of the utmost importance for the six countries to deal with current global problems.

The groups agreed on six new ways to work together and were happy with China’s six big plans that will help the Mekong countries.

In addition, Foreign Ministers said that the LMC countries would keep up the spirit of mutual respect, mutual trust, solidarity, and coordination.

They would also step up cooperation in key areas to make the LMC a driving force for inclusive and sustainable development.

Wang Yi emphasized that the six LMC nations enjoy geographical and cultural proximity. As a cause jointly initiated and promoted by the six countries, the LMC has become a significant sub-regional platform.

In this way, LMC improves the well-being of people and focuses on development in an action-oriented manner, demonstrating a high level of vitality.

Foreign Ministers reaffirmed that they should contribute LMC wisdom to the economic recovery of the six countries.

Furthermore, they urged to add LMC momentum to regional prosperity and contribute LMC experience to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda along with opening up an even brighter future for the Lancang-Mekong region.

Joint Press Communique

The meeting resulted in the release of a joint press communique and four joint statements on enhancing customs-trade security and clearance facilitation.

Similarly, enhancing agricultural cooperation and guarantees of food security, disaster management cooperation, and cultural exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations were agreed upon.

At the meeting, the Progress Report of the Year 2021 on Implementing the Five-Year Plan of Action on Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (2018–2022) was released. Additionally, the List of the Projects Supported by the LMC Special Fund of 2022 was also released.

Wang Yi held bilateral talks with Myanmar’s Foreign Minister, Wunna Maung Lwin. Likewise, he also met the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn.

In addition, he also held meetings with the Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith. Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son also met Wang Yi during his stay in Myanmar.

At the same time, Wang Yi also attended other events, such as the opening of the LMC National Coordination Unit (Myanmar) Building.