China meeting highlights Mekong-Lancang views on cooperation

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Strengthening regional cooperation was the focus of the 3rd Seminar for Media Officials and Journalists from Mekong-Lancang Countries held in Kunming, Yunnan province, China from July 21-29.

Media professionals from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand attended the event which aimed to enhance collaboration among the countries.

As China is one of six states that share the Mekong River, the seminar was organised by the Yunnan Daily Press Group with the support of the Yunnan provincial authority.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Editor in Chief of the Yunnan Daily Press Group, Mr Yang Run, observed “The Lancang-Mekong River stretches for thousands of miles linking China to Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is the Mekong water that gives rise to friendship and cooperation among the six countries.”

At the closing ceremony, his Vice Editor in Chief, Mrs Tan Jingchun, remarked that the seminar had promoted cooperation among the Mekong-Lancang countries in the fields of culture and people-to-people exchanges, as well as in communications and railway construction.

“It is one river and one family, which Mekong-Lancang cooperation is based on for future exchange,” she said.

Delegations made up of four members from each of the four Mekong countries learned lessons from sharing experiences and information, and visited important sites during their stay in Yunnan province.

During the meeting, each delegation head expressed their views on cooperation and what had been gained from the experience.

Features Editor of the Vientiane Times, Mr Panyasith Thammavongsa, as head of the Lao delegation, said “During the programme here, we learned about the cooperation between Mekong-Lancang countries, and especially with Yunnan province. We also learnt about the cultures of other Mekong countries including China.”

“I hope cooperation between the media of Laos and China as well as other Mekong countries continues to go from strength to strength,” he added.

The event also helped open the eyes of participants to new technological developments in which China is a world leader.

The delegations also visited cultural, historical and natural sites in Yunnan province, leaving them with a favourable impression of China.

Another highlight was travelling on the high-speed bullet train from Kunming to Lufeng County, which took only 20 minutes.

This gave the Lao delegates a taste of things to come with the Laos-China railway from Yunnan province through northern Laos to Vientiane scheduled to become operational in 2021.

Deputy Director of the Press Centre, General Department of Information and Broadcasting, Information Ministry, Mr Meach Samanmonday, as head of the Cambodian delegation, said “Through the media programme of the Yunnan Daily Press Group, the network of journalists from four countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region gained a better understanding of each other. They now have a better relationship, both economically and culturally, and this programme has promoted mutual understanding and cooperation.”

He said that with the acceleration of globalisation and economic integration, the Lancang-Mekong sub-region has become a focus for international cooperation in trade and investment, especially in the Asia-Pacific under the Greater Mekong Sub-region cooperation mechanism.

The Yunnan Daily Press Group media programme had created a new platform for promoting exchanges and interactions with Chinese media such as the Yunnan media network with Cambodia and others in the region, he said.

The seminar gave journalists from the four countries another opportunity to gain more understanding and promote cooperation between China and the sub-region, Mr Meach added.

Staff Officer from the Information and Public Relations Department, Ministry of Information, Ms Daw Su Wunna Aung, as head of the Myanmar delegation, said “We are delighted to be here and had a great time in scenic Kunming experiencing the area’s culture, heritage, customs and traditions.”

Her delegation also learnt a great deal from the development of China, especially Anning, as one of the best environmental cities in China.

Myanmar has participated in many areas of Lancang-Mekong cooperation, especially development work in the media.

Senior Information Officer from the Foreign Office Public Relations Department, Mrs Sirinapha Pansang, as head of the Thai delegation, said “This seminar gave us a lot of knowledge and experience. As media and information officers, this knowledge can be applied in our jobs. The experiences included taking the high-speed railway, learning more about the cities in Yunnan and the “Anning Model” on traditional, cultural and natural tourism to develop the hot spring resources.”

Read the full article at Eleven Myanmar:

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