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US attempts to turn Mekong into another anti-China battlefield like S. China Sea

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By Hu Yuwei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/15 20:48:40
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A view of the Mekong River. Photo: VCG


With $150 million initial investment, the US claimed to launch a Mekong-US partnership as an integral part of its "Indo-Pacific vision," which observers believe shows its accelerated pace in politicizing the water resources issue in the region to curb China's growing influence in Southeast Asia.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also accused the Communist Party of China (CPC) of "increasingly threatening the Mekong's natural environment and economic autonomy." Experts on Tuesday noted that Pompeo's remarks, with huge ideological overtones, show the US is trying to turn the Mekong River basin into a new battleground against China similar to the South China Sea.

The US launched a fierce narrative battle against China around the region in 2020. Working with US-backed NGOs, think tanks, lobbyists and media, the US hyped environmental and resources issues and sowed discord among the members by tarnishing China's efforts in the area.

A typical example is Pompeo's tweet on August 14 slandering China for "manipulating flows in a non-transparent manner," deliberately ignoring China's long-term pledge and efforts to share data with the countries involved.

For 18 years in a row, China has provided free hydrological data on the Lancang River, also known as the Mekong for southeast Asian nations, during the flood season, to assist Mekong River countries' flood control and disaster mitigation plans.

Global experts from the US, the UK, Lower Mekong Basin Region (LMRB) countries, and cross-national organizations at a virtual international seminar on July 14 agreed that cascade reservoirs along the Lancang River helped alleviate the drought downstream.

Some Western media claimed in 2019 that China's hydroelectric dams exacerbated the drought in other countries at the end of 2019.

But the Secretariat of the Mekong River Commission, an inter-governmental river basin organization, and Chinese hydraulic experts have cited scientific evidence, and concluded that the drought was mainly caused by reduced precipitation and the El Niño event.

"Many of those self-proclaimed US researchers did not even conduct field work in the Mekong basin before drawing their 'conclusions,'" Bi Shihong, a professor at the Center for China's Neighbor Diplomacy Studies and School of International Studies of Yunnan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday. "The reports of those institutions are less scientifically valuable, and member countries usually review the conclusions independently with more caution."

Pompeo on Monday again spread rumors in his statement, claiming that Chinese companies participating in construction projects in Mekong countries practice "predatory and opaque business." He blamed the CPC for a range of problems without providing evidence.

These allegations are clearly politically driven, exposing how the US is desperately looking for a new agenda to suppress China around the world, Bi said.

Prior to the Mekong-US partnership, the US proposed the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) in 2009 to pin more power in the Mekong sub-region. With the rapid development and smooth flow of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism initiated by China, the US escalated its stigmatization of China and has continued to offer multiple cooperation models to Mekong countries under "American-led Mekong water rules," said Zhang Li, an assistant professor on Water Diplomacy and the Mekong River region at Fudan University.

China is facing increasing pressure from beyond the Mekong River region, like smears from non-relevant countries that want to interfere in the region, Zhang told the Global Times. China can use the LMC mechanism to reap more tangible benefits for Mekong countries to promote regional stability and sustainable development, he said.

 

Viet

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Instead of writing worthless articles Xi Jingping and the Global times can invest the same amount money into the Mekong.
 

Viet

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Vietnam even thank China for regulating Mekong with Dam
What a nonsense
It’s like saying we should thank the PLA for invasions.
Chinese choke the Mekong river.
they will make our country to Sahara desert.
 

Indos

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Song Hong

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So look like Thailand and Vietnam are under China custody now...........
Wrong. They are thanking China. China always shared the water data. And if China do not release the water downstream, where can the water go?

So China is keeping excessive flood water in the dam, and releasing it during drought.

The governments of Mekong knew it very well.

But these governments are not preventing the NGOs and media to toll the lines of USA, in order to pacify USA.

 

Figaro

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So look like Thailand and Vietnam are under China custody now...........
Thailand has always had warm relations with China so they have nothing to fear ... Vietnam is the one that has to play it safe. This is one of the largest areas of leverage China can hold over Vietnam.
 

Brainsucker

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Thailand has always had warm relations with China so they have nothing to fear ... Vietnam is the one that has to play it safe. This is one of the largest areas of leverage China can hold over Vietnam.
Nah, Vietnam is basically is surrounded by China. From Chinese's friendly Laos and Cambodia, to South China Sea that can easily be blocked by PLAN.
 

Figaro

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Nah, Vietnam is basically is surrounded by China. From Chinese's friendly Laos and Cambodia, to South China Sea that can easily be blocked by PLAN.
Well think about it as another card up China's sleeve. That is why relations between China and Vietnam have more or less been the same as it has always been since normalization in 1991, albeit with occasional flare ups (e.g. 2014).
 

Song Hong

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There is no evidence China is diverting Mekong in large scale

Below is from China government

*****************************

China dam has regulating capacity of 20 billion sqm, equivalent to ASEAN capacity. China use dam for power generation, flood control and drought regulation and does not use the water.


。据湄委会官方数据,在澜沧江-湄公河流域,中国已建水库的调节能力约220亿立方米,与下游国家在湄公河支流已建水库的蓄水能力大体相当。中方水库主要用于发电,并不消耗水量,且具有明显的调丰补枯作用,据我们分析,其可以在汛期削减约30%的洪量,这些削减的洪量经过水库调节,可在枯水期增加约70%的下泄流量。  
 

Song Hong

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There are only 2 small plains along China Mekong, Xishuangbana and Menghan (Pic 1) that can use Mekong water efficiently. 20 years ago Xishuangbama took water from Mekong as drinking. The taste is horrible. Not sure if it is doing now, because when I visited this place 15 years ago. the taste of tap water is completely different.

Other than that, river runs belong 2 parallel cliff (pic2). No one can use this type of water for irrigation efficiently.


1600246990023.png



1600247178952.png
 

Song Hong

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The countries that can utilized the Mekong water in large scale are Lao ("Isan plains") , Thailand("Isan plains"), Cambodia and Vietnam (Mekong Delta plains).

If one day Cambodia and Laos develop industrial farming then Vietnam got little water.

1600247789476.png
 

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Song Hong

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The water of big river is very dirty and smelly. Take from small creek better. Anyway, small creek eventually become big river tributaries.

But today water purification technology is quite good. So smelly water may be process and taste good.

How Xishuangbana change her smelly tap water into delicious water, I am not sure. (take from creek or have better water technology??)

Where do they take their drinking water from now.
 
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