Dam in China not cause of Mekong floods: Cambodia

08:15, November 19, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

China holds a responsible attitude when developing the Lancang River and highly values ecological protection, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Thursday.

"In the process of development, China fully takes into considerations the lower stream countries," Hong told reporters at a regular news briefing.

The spokesman was affirming comments by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who reiterated on Wednesday that disasters and floods in his country are not caused by Chinese dams, but are triggered instead by global climate change.

The prime minister told environmentalists not to be "too extreme".

The 4,350-km Mekong River - known as the Lancang River in China - flows through China's Tibetan Plateau, Yunnan province, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

"So please don't be too extreme don't say hydropower dams" are the cause of the situation, Hun Sen told reporters after a series of summits held among government leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.

To do so, he added, would be a "mistake".

"I do not defend China and I also do not defend Laos that built hydropower dam, I also do not defend the hydropower dam that the Cambodian government (is) allowed to build - but you should think when strong rains come, they cause floods, and when there is no rain drought."

Water flowing from China only contributes to 20 percent of the Mekong's water volume that reaches the river basin nations, while the remaining 80 percent is fed from water sources in Laos.

More than 60 million people rely in some way on the river, which is the world's largest inland fishery, producing an estimated catch of 3.9 million tons annually, according to the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

In April when Hun Sen attended the first MRC Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand, the Cambodian prime minister said his statements were to "provide justice for China".

"They (some countries) are blaming China ... while China itself is being victimized by droughts ... China's Lancang River has no water either," Hun Sen said.

China has increased its information sharing and, since March, highlighted the provision of data from two hydrological stations to lower stream nations.

In June, notably, China launched a two-week training course in flood control and disaster mitigation for 17 experts from five countries downstream of the Mekong River Basin - Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam - in a bid to share experience and technology to prevent future tragedies.

Xinhua, AFP contributed to this story.

By Ai Yang, China Daily


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Chinese Navy soldiers hold an evening party marking the upcoming 62nd National Day aboard Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" in the Pacific on Sept. 28, 2011. The Chinese National Day falls on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2011 shows the crowd at the plaza of Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China. The railway transportation witnessed a travel peak with the approach of the seven-day National Day holidays on Friday. (Xinhua)
  • A man wearing high-heel shoes takes part in the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event when men literally walk in women's shoes to raise awareness about ending violence against women, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows a cargo ship in danger on the sea near Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province. Cargo ship Fangzhou 6 of Qingzhou of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region lost control after water stormed into its cabin due to Typhoon Nesat on the sea near Zhuhai Thursday, leaving 12 crew members in danger. Rescuers rushed to the ship and saved them by using a helicopter. (Xinhua)
  • Actress Gong Li poses for L'Officiel Magazine. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street campaign hold placards as they march in the financial district of New York September 29, 2011. After hundreds of protesters were denied access to some areas outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 17, demonstrators set up a rag-tag camp three blocks away. Zuccotti Park is a campground festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. The group is adding complaints of excessive police force against protesters and police treatment of ethnic minorities and Muslims to its grievances list, which includes bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Hot Forum Discussion