20 Jul 2018
AbstractFor centuries, the Mekong river has become the center of six riparian countriesâs people life. Geographically, it flows through these countries for about 4,900 km.Â It created a 795,000 kmÂ² river basin, distributed between the Upper Mekong River Basin that is formed by China (21 percent) and Myanmar (3 percent), as well as the Lower Mekong River Basin, which comprised Laos (25 percent), Thailand (23 percent), Cambodia (20 percent), and Viet Nam (8 percent) (FAO, 2011). To fullfill their own peopleâs needs overÂ the Mekong River and its subregion, those riparian states have been developing some transboundary cooperation initiatives among them. Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), Mekong Ricer Commission [MRC] etc. are examples of the transboundary cooperation. Besides, there are some other cooperations that cover the whole or part of the Mekong subregion butÂ do not specifically focus on Mekong River, i.e. ASEAN-China Free Trade Area and ASEAN Community. This condition creates a complexity of relationships among the cooperations in the Mekong subregion. This paper analysis some potential/existing problems i.e. a possibility that those cooperations overlap; the differences in the countriesâ profile seem to create different interests among them etc. The analysis is based on some field research in some places [Vietnam, Laos, Thailand] in 2015.Â Keywords: transboundary cooperation, Northern ASEAN countries, GMS, MRC, Mekong River, connectivity.
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