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Mekong countries don’t need to bank on outsiders

Recently there have been attempts to politicize issues relating to the Mekong region or even treat it like the South China Sea.

Truth be told, Mekong sub-regional frameworks have been overstretched by multi-layered structures just to accommodate specific partners. When competition between these partners increases, Mekong frameworks have become the “melting pot” of mechanisms characterized only by beautiful statements, hollow pledges, and verbal attacks among major powers that do not contribute to real development for people in the region.

Valid political and security concerns exist, such as over the lack of transparency on water data and non-participatory attitudes toward water-resource management. This tendency also stems from the “Sinophobia” of some actors that are at odds with or feel security threats from China.

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