UPSC Current Affairs

The Mekong River

Mekong river-Ekam IAS

The Mekong River

  • Chinese Foreign Minister will join counterparts from Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam in a meeting of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation group in the central city of Bagan, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
What is the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC)?
  • It is a multilateral initiative led by China for cooperation between the riparian states of the Mekong river.
  • Lancang is that part of the Mekong that flows through China. It is the longest river flowing from north to south in China.
  • The member countries of this mechanism are Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Mekong River :
  • The Mekong river originates from the glaciers of Tibet and flows through six countries before emptying into the South China Sea.
  • The six countries are China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
  • Upper Mekong river, located in Chinese territory, is called in Mandarin as “Lancang Jiang”.
  • The Lower Mekong Basin is rich in natural resources, commonly shared within Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
  • The Mekong river has been a very important lifeline for the people in South East Asia.
  • It sustains a rich biodiversity and is the eight longest river in the world.
  • It also marks the border line between Myanmar-Laos and Thailand-Laos.
Why Mekong River is important?
  • Mekong Delta is a potential source of regional tensions due to an increasing number of hydroelectric projects that are altering the flow and raising concerns of ecological damage.
  • China has built 10 dams along the upper stretch of the Mekong, the part it calls the Langcang.
  • The river hosts various species of large fish; the biggest include the giant river carp, freshwater stingray, Siamese giant carp, and giant catfish.
Why Mekong River is significant for India?
  • The Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) is an initiative by six countries – India and five ASEAN countries – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • It is an initiative aiming to facilitate closer connections between these 6 member countries which share the Ganga river and Mekong river basins.
  • The four areas of cooperation are Culture, Education, Tourism, and Transportation.
Model Question

Q. Mekong River flows through which of the following countries?

  1. India
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Myanmar
  4. China
  5. Cambodia

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 1, 4 and 5 only

(d) 3, 4 and 5 only

Answer : D

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