Vietnam says Cambodia should share info on Funan Techo Canal on Mekong River

An artist’s rendition of a section of the planned Funan Techo Canal in Cambodia. — Facebook/Cambodia Ministry of Public Works and Transport video

HANOI: Vietnam on Thursday (April 11) said it is closely following Cambodia's Funan Techo Canal and has asked Cambodia to cooperate and share information regarding this ambitious project connected to the Mekong River.

Responding to queries from reporters for Vietnam's reaction over potential security concerns arising from Cambodia's megaproject, deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Doan Khac Viet on Thursday said: "Vietnam supports the economic and social development needs of Mekong River countries, while also underscoring the importance of enhancing cooperation to effectively and sustainably manage and utilise the Mekong River's water resources."

"Vietnam is very interested in the Funan Techo Canal project and has also proposed that Cambodia "closely coordinate with Vietnam and the Mekong River Commission in sharing information and assessing the impacts of this project on water and people living in the area."

According to information from Cambodia, the US$1.7-billion canal will be approximately 180km long, and pass through four provinces with a total population of 1.6 million people living on both sides, connecting the capital city Phnom Penh with its southern coast (near Kien Giang Province of Vietnam).

The construction of the project by the state-owned China Bridge and Road Corporation (CRBC) is slated to start in the fourth quarter of 2024.

The Mekong River is the longest waterway in South-East Asia, stretching nearly 5,000km from its source on the Tibetan Plateau in China to the Mekong Delta. This river flows through six countries: China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, where it empties into the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea).

With regard to the question over the series of recent military exercises in the East Sea within short intervals, the foreign ministry's representative said the East Sea is an important sea in the region and in the world.

"Therefore, the maintenance of peace, stability and security, as well as the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), is the goal, the interest and responsibility of all countries," Viet said.

"Activities of relevant countries in the East Sea must be conducted in accordance with international law, particularly in the 1982 Convention, so as to actively contribute to the realisation of these goals."

Asked about the relations of Vietnamwith China's Taiwan and its policies towards Taiwanese businesses investing in Vietnam the deputy spokesperson said given Vietnam's pursuit of the One China Policy, it has been maintaining and promoting non-State cooperation with Chinese Taipei in many fields, trade-investment, people-to-people exchanges, tourism, education and training, among others.

"Given the policy of considering foreign investments as an important source and impetus for national development, Vietnam always pays close attention and attaches great importance to refining our investment environment," Viet said.

"This means creating favourable conditions and safety for foreign businesses, including those from Chinese Taipei, to have long term investment in production and business in our country," he added. — Vietnam News/ANN

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Vietnam , Cambodia , Funan Techo , canal


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