Four nations launch 80th joint patrol on Mekong River

[InKunming--Sister Cities] The 80th Mekong River joint patrol led by China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand started on Tuesday from Jinghong Port in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Five vessels participated in the four-day patrol that will involve inspections, a crackdown on drug crimes and an anti-drug publicity campaign, according to the provincial public security department.

The mission will cover key waters including the "Golden Triangle," an area notorious for drug production.

The joint patrols started in December 2011 after a gang hijacked two cargo ships and killed 13 Chinese sailors in Thai waters on Oct. 5 that year.

A total of 12,629 officers and 673 vessels have participated in the past 79 missions that have "imposed a powerful deterrence and dealt a hefty blow" to crimes on the river, the department said.

The Mekong River, known as the Lancang River in China, is a vital waterway for cross-border shipping among China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

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