China closes Mekong River stretch

China closes Mekong River stretch

China has declared a 60-kilometre section of Mekong River off-limits to all types of boats indefinitely while rock blasting is undertaken to widen the channel for commercial shipping operations.

China announced on Friday that operators of all types of boats should avoid entering the river from Guan Lei to Ganlanpa in Yunnan's Xishuangbanna prefecture.

It also also erected wires across the river to prevent boats from entering the section, which has now been declared a danger zone.

Guan Lei port, however, remains open to cargo and passenger boats as usual.

As a result of the river closure, passengers travelling by boat from Chiang Rai to Jinghong in China are now being transferred to a bus to travel on to their destination, about 100 kilometres earlier than they would have previously changed, said Pakaimas Vierra, vice-president of the Chiang Rai Chamber of Commerce yesterday.

Jinghong is the main city of Xishuangbanna and is popular among Thai tourists.

Ms Pakaimas insisted the closure of the river in China would not have any serious impact on tourism or cargo transport because travelling on to China by car is now convenient.

In 2000, China's plan to widen the Mekong River by blasting rocks to make it possible for a 300-tonne ship to navigate the stretch between Yunnan and Luang Prabang encountered resistance by Thai environmentalists over the possible impact on the river's ecosystem.

The resistance led China to move the rock-blasting further back to areas of the river situated within its territorial boundaries.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (17)

CO2 pollution bounces back, climate goals at risk: IEA

PARIS: Global CO2 emissions have returned to pre-pandemic levels and then some, threatening to put climate treaty targets for capping global warming out of reach, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday.

13:45

More Myanmar arrested for illegal entry, Thai guide caught

KANCHANABURI: Another 33 Myanmar nationals have been caught entering the country illegally in search of jobs, and a Thai guide has admitted he was being paid 3,000 baht per head to bring workers across the border.

13:14

Jihadists attack UN base in Nigeria, trapping 25 aid workers

KANO, Nigeria: Jihadists linked to the Islamic State have attacked a UN base and overrun a humanitarian hub in northeastern Nigeria, trapping 25 aid workers, security and humanitarian sources said.

11:45