Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on China’s geopolitical interests in the Mekong River Basin. Part I examined the politics and impact of hydroelectric projects on the Mekong River Basin. Part II examines the security challenges to China’s efforts toward economic integration of the Mekong River Basin.
Beijing’s ambitions for China-led economic integration in the Mekong River Basin have encountered several setbacks in recent months, highlighting the limits to China’s ability to use its economic power and control over the headwaters of the Mekong to its geopolitical advantage. In particular, Beijing’s plan to expand the navigational potential of Mekong ports in southern Yunnan province to as far south as Luang Prabang, Laos, has been called into question by recent security developments on the river.
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