|China readies armed patrols of Mekong|
Starting next month, China and its Southeast Asian neighbors will begin sending armed patrols along the Mekong River, where 13 Chinese crew members were murdered this past month, the Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday.
Fang Youguo, secretary-general of the Lancang River Shipowners' Association of the autonomous prefecture Xishuangbanna, whose vessels use the
The Chinese patrol force will escort both Chinese ships and those that are under other flags, Yang Xi, the press officer from Yunnan Provincial Border Control Corps, said on Tuesday.
Song Qingrun, a researcher with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, called the armed patrol a milestone in
"This is a first, since
"The resumption of shipping along the river will help improve
At a meeting held in
The four nations also agreed to share intelligence as part of a "specific and unified action to completely eradicate criminal gangs, which have long threatened the regional security", according to a statement released after the meeting.
On Oct 5, 13 Chinese sailors aboard two cargo ships, Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8, were killed on the
Nine Thai soldiers were later detained in the case and now face charges of murder and concealing evidence.
"The police will prosecute all nine soldiers," he was quoted by a Bangkok-based newspaper. "Their actions have nothing to do with the Thai army."
The bodies of 11 of the Chinese sailors have been cremated in the northern Thai
The river is an important shipping route between