The Asianist

Balanced and fact-based analysis of Asian affairs

New Piece: “Averting Crisis on the Mekong River”

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I’ve got a new piece out analyzing the future of the Mekong — one of the world’s greatest rivers which is under threat from a range of development, demographic and climate change-related pressures.

Here is an abstract:

The future of the Mekong, one of the world’s greatest and resource-rich rivers which flows through China and mainland Southeast Asia, is in peril. A string of hydropower projects by riparian nations, coupled with strong development and demographic pressures and gloomy climate change scenarios, threatens to alter the river. These trends have the potential to trigger a serious crisis characterized by water shortages, forced migration, food insecurity, prolonged floods and droughts, thereby affecting the livelihoods of tens of millions of people, undermining the economies of riparian states, and stoking bilateral tensions. Such a scenario is not only damaging to the immediate countries themselves, but inimical to the interests of outside actors like the United States, which seek a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia. In order to avert serious crisis along the Mekong, the six nations through which the river flows and outside actors must undertake serious measures on both an individual and regional basis.

You can read the whole thing here.

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