Journalists Crucial for Lancang-Mekong Development: Media Chief

Cambodia' media delegates attend LMC Media Summit held in Beijing.

BEIJING  – Officials, experts, and journalists gathered at the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Summit (LMC) 2023 to raise problems and solutions to discuss for further development in the region.

Journalists are considered essential in promoting and integrating awareness among people in the regions to develop and enhance their lives.

Organized by the People’s Daily media for the fifth time since its establishment in 2015, the Lancang-Mekong Media Summit, was held from June 25 to July 5 in Beijing.

Li Shulei, the senior official of the Communist Party of China, said the LMC is dedicated to an active relationship between China and other countries in the region to write a new page in history.

Li said regional media also spreads awareness by providing reliable information and advancing the development of visions.

“The media is an important driving force in leading the public’s opinions in cooperation acceleration and people-to-people connection between countries,” he said.

“We hope that the media in each country will provide the news about strategies, the integration of economic cooperation, digital, cultural exchange and reports to people effectively.

Li Shulei also called on regional countries to prepare media cooperation for experience and information exchanges between stakeholders, especially the research on problems and solutions for Lancang-Mekong development.

“We drink from the same river, and we have a common destiny,” said Tuo Zhen, chief editor and president of the People's Daily, adding that the LMC is an important task for the journalists from the six countries — China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam — to jointly promote the potential and strengths, and especially to connect people to people in the region.

“We, journalists and media, need to promote the culture and follow the spirit of the Lancang-Mekong region. Also, we must join forces to help each other for the regional development.”

The summit had two agendas: promoting and recovering the regional economy for mutual benefits and promoting information exchange for people-to-people connection in the Lancang-Mekong region, he said.

Khan Sophirum, Deputy Director of the Cambodian News Agency (AKP), believes that the cooperation reflects on the regional journalists’ commitment in participating in resolving new challenges, which ensures the Lancang-Mekong centrality in linking the region and fostering the sub-region toward sustainable development.

“I hope that the discussion on the topic will become a mechanism that will encourage the media in the region; encourage everyone’s commitment in reporting any regional problems to build trust, understanding, and connection; enhance the cooperation with the focus on the strength as the association foundation; and, adhere to the core principle of sustainable environment and resilience with integration and the environment to build the Lancang-Mekong sub-community towards a common future,” he said.

Yu Shaoliang, Chief Editor of People's Daily, said journalists are essential in developing processes in the Lancang-Mekong region. He encouraged all journalists in the region to promote and share important information for the people to understand more about the region, making it easier for development.

 “As a media, we are on an important duty. We must join force and knowledge to develop the Lancang-Mekong region,” he added.

During the view exchange session, Soy Sopheap, Chief Editor of DAP News, also said the cooperation focuses on three main factors: politics and cooperation; security, economy and sustainable development; and, society, culture and people-to-people exchanges.

There are also other important priorities, including production capacity connection, cross-border economic cooperation, water resources and agriculture and poverty education.

Connecting production capacity, cross-border economic cooperation, water resources and agriculture, and poverty reduction  

“What I have shown you above reflected on the benefits and common commitment of all stakeholders or our media.

The Lancang-Mekong sub-region has water resources from the same river, only with different names—the Lancang River for China yet the Mekong River for the other five countries. The area is alongside a river originating in the Qinghai and Tibet plateau. Named as the Lanchang River, the river crosses into China's Yunnan province, flowing through Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, with a total population of more than 200 million people.

 The Lancang-Mekong region is a center of history, culture, socio-economy, natural resources, as well as a potential economic location and a conflicting geopolitical in the region and in the world. 

The cooperation aims to promote social and economic development in the Mekong River region by reducing the development gap and promoting comprehensive cooperation between China and ASEAN. 


Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Meng Seavmey for Cambodianess.

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