Trial transportation of processed oil on the Lancang (Mekong)
River will start before the end of the year, announced Qiao Xinmin,
director of China Lancang River Maritime Affairs Bureau, on
According to Qiao, over the past twenty years, China, Laos,
Myanmar and Thailand have collaborated towards the development of
Mekong River. During the 1990s, China renovated a stretch of the
Lancang (Mekong) River over 260 kilometers long in southwest Yunnan Province which adjoins Laos and
Myanmar. In 2001, shipping between ports in Yunnan Province and
Laos started operation. So far, with the joint efforts from the
countries bordering the Mekong River, the navigation capacity of
the channels has reached scale five, opening them to ships below
300 tons all year round.
Statistics show that since the start of shipping in 2001, cargo
transported along the Mekong River has surpassed 1 million tons
with over 100 cargo ships sharing in this transportation, most of
them from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
The coming trial transportation of processed oil will add a new
channel for foreign processed oil imports coming to China, greatly
reducing transportation costs and furthering avenues for
cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
International shipping on the Mekong River has shown its new
features in terms of transport security, diversity of
transportation, technological advancement and the size of its
commercial fleet, Qiao added.
Over the course of the next five years, Yunnan will improve the
Lancang Route by applying following measures. Firstly, advanced
industrial services will gradually be established along Jinghong
Port. Secondly, Jinghong will see the setting up of an
International Sailors Training Base where sailors from China, Laos,
Myanmar and Thailand will gather to improve their technical
knowledge and safe navigation skills. Thirdly, smooth
transportation will be assured through the rapid construction of a
protection and management system on the upper reaches of the
Mekong. Finally, an emergency salvage and mechanical service team
will be created and placed on permanent stand-by.
(China.org.cn by Li Shen, August 23, 2006)