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International relations

Mekong River leaders grow hushed on hydropower fears at summit

China's Belt and Road money floods environmental concerns over dam construction

A study suggests that dam projects underway in the Mekong River basin would deplete fish stocks by up to 40% in 2040.   © Reuters

SIEM REAP, Cambodia -- The prime ministers of the four countries in the downstream Mekong River basin agreed this week to boost collaboration for sustainable development, but turned noticeably quiet about the environmental impact from hydropower dam projects that have increased thanks to Chinese help.

Cambodia's Hun Sen, Thailand's Prayut Chan-ocha, Vietnam's Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos attended the Mekong River Commission summit on Thursday in the northwestern province of Siem Reap. They were joined at the third meeting of the quadrennial summit by representatives from upstream countries China and Myanmar as observers.

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