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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on 1st Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders' Meeting

On March 17, 2016, the Foreign Ministry held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media on the 1st Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders' Meeting. Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin briefed on the relevant information and answered questions from the Chinese and foreign journalists.

Liu Zhenmin said the 1st Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Leaders' Meeting will be held in Sanya, Hainan Province on March 23, 2016. At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam will attend the meeting.

Promoting the LMC not only serves as a concrete practice to implement the initiative raised by President Xi Jinping of building a community of shared future with all countries in Asia, but also a Chinese plan to promote sub-regional development and prosperity. Premier Li Keqiang put forward the important initiative of building the LMC mechanism in the 17th China-ASEAN Leaders' Meeting in 2014, receiving active responses from countries along the Mekong River. China and the five countries in the Mekong River region, with adjoining mountains and rivers as well as mutual affinity, have established all-round strategic cooperation partnership separately. Boasting promising prospects of development, countries in the Mekong River region are important partners for China to advance the building of the Belt and Road and carry out international cooperation in production capacity. The LMC will further deepen good-neighborly friendship of the six countries and promote the economic and social development of the member countries. In addition, it will narrow the development gap in the region, promote the building of the ASEAN community as well as the process of regional integration, and help the six countries to address non-traditional security threats.

With concerted efforts, all sides have successfully made sound preparations for the LMC mechanism. The "3 + 5" cooperation framework, namely with political security, economy and sustainable development as well as society and culture as three major areas, and with connectivity, production capacity, cross-border economy, water resources, and agriculture and poverty alleviation as five priorities, has been set up. It aims to establish a community of shard future among countries in the Lancang-Mekong region featuring mutual benefit and win-win results. As a new sub-regional cooperation platform, the LMC mechanism is marked by common development, practical cooperation and openness and inclusiveness, etc. Consisting of six developing countries, it commits itself to building a new model for South-South cooperation and will actively contribute to implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 1st LMC Leaders' Meeting, with the theme of "Shared River, Shared Future", will review the building process of the LMC mechanism, and look forward to the future cooperation and development. Leaders of the six countries will affirm the goals, key areas and priorities of cooperation, and discuss the roadmap for follow-up cooperation. Several important cooperation documents will be issued at this meeting, ranging from development direction of this mechanism, cooperation in production capacity to project design and so on.

At this meeting, Premier Li Keqiang will speak highly of the process of the LMC and its significance, and introduce China's attitude towards the future development direction of the mechanism. He will highlight the necessity and urgency for the six countries to cooperate, and announce a series of important cooperation initiatives and measures in light of major areas and development direction, so as to ensure a smooth start and a stable and persistent development of the LMC.

Leaders of the six countries will attend the launch ceremony of the LMC, and altogether visit the exhibition on the cooperation between Lancang-Mekong countries. And leaders of China and Thailand will jointly meet the press as meeting chairs. Besides, Premier Li Keqiang will hold bilateral meetings with leaders of other five countries.

Liu Zhenmin said LMC represents a major effort for the six close and friendly neighbors in the exploration of creating a new regional cooperation platform. He believed that the meeting will deliver sound outcomes and bring practical benefits to the people of the countries within the region.

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