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China to open up mekong discussion

Water conservation groups in Cambodia reacted positively on Thursday to a Chinese government announcement that it would begin sharing information about upstream water levels in the drought-affected Mekong River with countries downstream. The announcement came less than two weeks before Prime Minister Hun Sen and his regional counterparts are due to meet with Chinese officials at the Mekong River Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand, to discuss growing concerns over disruptions to the river’s water flow, widely thought to be caused by damming in China. Pich Dun, secretary general of the National Mekong Committee, welcomed the “great news” on Thursday, which he said paved the way for constructive talks at the upcoming meeting. Meach Mien, project coordinator of the 3S Rivers Protection Network, said that in the past only downstream countries had participated in the Mekong River Commission. “This is the first time China has become involved in sharing information with downstream countries – it’s a good point, it’s positive,” he said.

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