From: Associated Press
Published June 29, 2005 12:00 AM

Cambodia's Leader to Attend Summit of Six-Nation Mekong Group in China

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Cambodia's prime minister said Wednesday he will travel to China next week for talks with leaders and government officials from five neighboring countries about regional infrastructure development.


Hun Sen will attend the meeting starting Monday in Kunming with officials from Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and China's Yunnan province -- collectively known as the Greater Mekong Subregion.


The nations plan to sign documents aimed at boosting development cooperation at the summit, the group's second in recent years.


During the group's first summit in Cambodia in 2002, the leaders endorsed major plans that would eventually bring highways, power grids and telecommunications to the region.


The countries hope to eventually form a vast and cheap six-nation energy network based on hydropower, one of the greatest resources of the Mekong River, the vast waterway that links the member countries.


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But environmentalists have expressed concerns about the negative impact of China's upstream dam building on countries farther down the Mekong, such as Cambodia and Vietnam.


Hun Sen said hydropower dams pose "no problems" as long as water is released through them downstream.


"I am confident that upstream countries, especially the People's Republic of China, will not be indifferent to the interests of the countries downstream," he said.


"We have adopted a compromised stance by taking into account mutual interests" of all members, he said, without elaborating. "There is no problem at all."


He said the leaders will sign several documents during their meeting, but did not elaborate.


Source: Associated Press


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