Thailand Uses Participatory Diplomacy to
Terminate the Joint Clearing of the Mekong with China
• Thailand has decided to terminate a navigation improvement project with China in a segment of the Mekong River. This after lengthy efforts to convince China of its environmental and social concerns.
• Nearly half of the Mekong River flows through China, giving it considerable leverage over how the river is used.
• Since the early twenty-first century, China has expanded navigation channels in the Mekong to allow its ships to carry heavy cargo to Thailand’s river ports.
• Thailand, using a constitutional requirement to conduct public hearings on international agreements that have an impact on territorial, economic or social interests, used the findings of those hearings at the negotiating table with China to strengthen its position, and to secure the consent of China to end the project.
• Thailand had another reason to end the project. This was due to its concern that the borderline with Laos was being affected by the collaboration with China….
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