Eyeing Mekong Dams, China Lavishes Cambodia with Billions for New Infrastructure

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) shakes hands with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during a signing ceremony at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on Thursday. | AFP-JIJ

PHNOM PENH – Beijing has pledged billions of dollars to build new infrastructure in Cambodia, officials said Thursday, as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ended a two-day charm offensive currying favor for its mega-dams across the Mekong.

The storied waterway, which twists through parts of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, is the world’s largest inland fishery and helps feed around 60 million people across its basin.

Environmental groups fear the Chinese dams will destroy fish stocks and plunge some of the region’s poorest people, who depend on the river, deeper into penury.

Beijing has already interrupted the Mekong’s upper reaches with six dams, and is investing in more than half of the 11 dams planned further south, according to the nonprofit group International…

Original published: 2018-01-12 23:30:46 Read the full Bangkok News here

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