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Vietnamese deputy PM hails China for releasing water to Mekong River countries

Xinhua  10:36, March 29, 2016  

HANOI, March 28 -- China's recent decision to discharge water into the lower reaches of the Mekong River is a positive move, said Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on Monday.

Minh made the remark while speaking to Vietnam's state-run news agency VNA on the sidelines of the ongoing session of the 13th tenure of the country's National Assembly held in Hanoi from March 21 to April 12.

"Afterward, Laos also released water from its dams, helping increase water level in Mekong River," said the deputy prime minister.

Earlier this month China started releasing emergency water supplies from the Jinghong Hydropower Station in southwest China's Yunnan Province to help alleviate the drought downstream.

Minh told reporter that in 2016, many countries have been hard-hit by climate change, especially those in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.

China has made several concrete commitments, such as offering some assistance from certain funds for those affected countries, said Minh.

When referring to the China-proposed Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism, Minh said it provides a new mechanism for all countries along the river to work together.

"The LMC is a new mechanism where countries bring out detailed cooperation projects. Vietnam is also active in the management, protection and sustainable use of water resource in Mekong River, which is of great importance and has impacts on all countries in the Mekong River basin," Minh told VNA.

The LMC mechanism was proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in November 2014 when he attended the 17th China-ASEAN leaders' meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

Mekong River originates in China and runs through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is known as Lancang in the Chinese stretch.

(Editor:Yao Chun,Bianji)