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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Veteran river captain admits worries remain

(China Daily)

09:14, December 12, 2011

The crew of a private ship look forward to a safe voyage ahead of their departure from Guanlei along the Mekong River in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province, on Friday. Cui Meng / China Daily

XISHUANGBANNA, Yunnan - More than 20 cargo ships are neatly docked along Guanlei Port, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province. Along with nine other ships, the Bao Shou will head for Chiang Saen Port in Thailand loaded with 130 tons of pomegranates, apples and other fruit.

The two-deck ship, with a displacement of 250 tons, covered with waterproof cloth, has a draft of 1.3 to 1.4 meters. It will carry edible oil to Myanmar and Laos on the return voyage.

After the massacre of 13 Chinese sailors on Oct 5, the local government suspended shipping on the Mekong River. An attack on 18 Chinese tourists on the river in August forced Chinese tourism companies to suspend operations on this longest river in Southeast Asia.

The old, golden waterway was left with only grief, and Guanlei was almost at a standstill.

"I believe the country has the ability to protect us," said Du Guangyou, captain of Bao Shou, whose wife is the ship's cook. Two of his sailors left because of safety concerns.

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