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Will China Revive Real Development in the Mekong Region?

Dec. 19, 2014 (EIRNS)—As documented in the EIR Special Report "The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge," the Mekong River region, which Franklin Roosevelt intended to develop with the TVA model, has seen virtually no basic infrastructure development even today, held back by western controls over credit and insane environmental excuses for "zero growth" and saving wildlife rather than human lives. In 2000, the 25th anniversary of the end of America’s genocidal war on Indochina, EIR’s Gail Billington published a call for the United States to restore its name in Asia by finally backing a TVA-style Mekong project. The call was ignored by the Bush and Obama Administrations.

However, as the BRICS process unfolds in Asia, led by China’s New Silk Road and New Maritime Silk Road, that may change. Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Bangkok today to attend the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program, which consists of the six countries along the Mekong—China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It will be the first time for Li to attend the annual summit.

According to Xinhua,

"The upcoming summit will provide a strong impetus for subregional cooperation by identifying 92 priority investment projects and passing an investment framework plan from 2014 to 2018, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao said ahead of Li’s trip."

There is thus the great possibility that Chinese financing and Chinese dedication to building truly independent, prosperous nation-states as its foreign policy, may break the logjam, and lead to the construction of dams, power plants, rail and road development, and new cities along the mighty Mekong.