Focus topics

The Mekong becomes a contested lifeline

Water is increasingly becoming the focus of geopolitical disputes. The current focus lies on the Mekong, the twelfth longest river in the world, which is considered the lifeline of continental Southeast Asia and rises in China. The governments of the riparian states are at odds over who is entitled to how much of the river’s water. The dispute recently gained momentum after the US Department of Justice accused Beijing of being responsible for an attack by Chinese hackers on servers of Cambodia’s foreign ministry in order to tap into internal information about the dispute over the stream’s water. Beijing denies any involvement. Southeast Asian riparian states accuse the People’s Republic of diverting large amounts of water and drying up lower river streams.

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