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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Making the Mekong safer for shipping

(China Daily)

08:49, December 12, 2011

Chinese police officers stand on board a patrol boat before leaving Guanlei Port in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China's Yunnan province, on Saturday. Cui Meng / China Daily

XISHUANGBANNA, Yunnan - International shipping traffic on the Mekong River waterway has been fully restored on Saturday, the first time since it came to a standstill two months ago after 13 Chinese sailors were murdered on the river.

On Saturday, the first voyage of the joint patrol law enforcement mission was launched. The joint patrols on the Mekong involve four countries - China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, and were launched from Guanlei Port in Xishuangbanna, southwest China's Yunnan province.

At 10:30 am, five patrol boats carrying more than 200 Chinese armed police and 100 men from the other countries set sail from Guanlei as escort for 10 Chinese cargo ships. Those on board included 42 naval officers from Myanmar and 15 army personnel from Thailand and Laos.

"Maintaining the security and stability of the Mekong River basin is not only the common aspiration, but the common responsibility of the four countries," Bouasieng Champaphan, the deputy chief of the Laos People's Army, said during the ceremony.

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Sam Teng at 2011-12-12175.136.52.*
The joint patrols law enforcement mission on the Mekong involving four countries - China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, is an exemplary example of cooperation between neighboring countries. Such a joint effort can prevent and weed out undesirable elements and activities in the Mekong and this will enable to sailors to have a peace of mind. However, these pirates are desperate and will not hesitate to strike when opportunity arises. Thus security and the patrols should always be vigilant and alert. To all the security men from the four countries, we salute you for the gallant mission.

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