To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Mekong competition may see China/US diplomatic crisis

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Subject

The outlook for China/US competition in the Mekong.

Significance

The United States is expanding its Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI). Additionally, the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM), a US-led donor coordination group, brings international organisations and Washington's European and Asian allies into the LMI orbit. However, in early March, China approached the Lower Mekong river region countries with a proposal for an equivalent Beijing-led institution, binding these and China closer economically and politically.

Impacts

  • China's Mekong scheme could indirectly cause further Thai civil society crackdowns.
  • Mekong development frictions would hamper achieving ASEAN unity.
  • Mekong countries will try to leverage China-US geopolitical competition for their development needs.
Expert Briefings Powered by Oxford Analytica
Stay up to date
Sign up to the Expert Daily Briefings email alert and receive up-to-the-minute analysis of global events as they happen.
*If your university does not have access to Expert Briefings, visit our information page to find out more.