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Leaders of Lancang-Mekong countries convene

SANYA, Hainan, March 23 (Xinhua) - Leaders from six countries along the Lancang-Mekong River convened in China's Sanya on Wednesday to discuss future cooperation.

"The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism comes as a natural result of our existing cooperation, and will take full advantage of our close geographic proximity, traditional friendship and complementary economies," Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told the meeting.

Li said China firmly supports integration of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the LMC will supplement China-ASEAN relations.

China is the biggest trading partner of Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, and the biggest source of investment in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who co-chaired the meeting with Li, said the meeting is a "new chapter" in the LMC process, and shows the strong willingness of regional countries to promote peace, prosperity and development through joint efforts.

The six countries should form a common strategy, on the basis of mutual trust and shared interests, to strengthen cooperation and cope with the challenges they are facing, such as natural disasters brought by the climate change, Prayut said.

He called on the six countries to conduct pragmatic cooperation to make the LMC mechanism conducive to regional peace and sustainable development, become a model of the south-south cooperation, and benefit the people in the region and the world as a whole.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Vice President of Myanmar Sai Mauk Kham, and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh also attended the meeting.

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