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Joint Declaration Issued to Enhance Mekong River Security

A joint declaration was issued at the Ministerial Meeting on Law Enforcement & Security Cooperation along the Mekong River held in Beijing on Saturday, mapping out future cooperation blueprint.

The meeting was attended by officials in charge of law enforcement and security from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, as well as those from Cambodia and Vietnam as observers.

The declaration set a goal of transferring the existing cooperation mechanism on law enforcement and security along the Mekong River to a regional organization for cooperation.

A law enforcement and security cooperation center will be established, and narcotics related crime, terrorism, and cyber crime will be added to the target list of the cooperation, according to the declaration.

Meanwhile, fight against organized human smuggling and illegal immigration, as well as manhunt and repatriation of fugitives are listed as key cooperation areas.

Several joint law enforcement actions will be conducted from 2016 to 2017, according to the declaration.

Moreover, it stipulated that the Ministerial Meeting on Law Enforcement & Security Cooperation along the Mekong River will be held every two years, and relevant Senior Officials' Meeting annually. Cambodia and Vietnam will participate in the cooperation as observer states.

China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand launched joint patrols on the Mekong River in December 2011 after a gang hijacked two cargo ships on October 5, 2011 in Thai waters and killed 13 Chinese sailors.

(Xinhua News Agency October 24, 2015)

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