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Beijing turns on the charm for Mekong countries

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Left to right: Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, prime ministers Thongsing Thammavong of Laos and Prayuth Chan-ocha of Thailand, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Myanmar's Vice President Sai Mauk Kham pose for a photo at the Lancang-Mekong cooperation summit in Sanya, China, on March 23.   © Reuters

BOAO, China   China and five Southeast Asian countries along the Mekong River announced on March 23 an agreement to work together to develop the region, building infrastructure and modernizing industries with an infusion of Chinese cash and assistance.

     The joint communique was issued at a summit in the Chinese city of Sanya, on Hainan Island. China hosted top officials from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. At the meeting, presided over by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the participants agreed to create a framework through which China's surplus of materials from excess industrial production can be channeled to help develop areas along the Mekong.

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