Zhou Yongkang, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said during an inspection tour of Yunnan between Oct. 27 and 29 that public security bureaus should strengthen border inspection and crack down hard on drug smuggling and terrorism.
Zhou’s visit came just over a month after a Myanmar drug runner and five of his gang members stood trial for the murders of 13 sailors on the Mekong River in the Golden Triangle Region on Oct. 5, 2011. Naw Kham, the principal suspect, pleaded guilty to murder in a local court in Yunnan.
With a length of almost 5,000 km, the Mekong is one of the most important waterways in Southeast Asia, linking China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It plays a crucial economic role among the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries.
Cargo ferry services, though briefly suspended following the murders, resumed on the river in December last year.
China has conducted joint patrols on the Mekong River with Laos, Myanmar and Thailand since the murders took place, said Zhou, adding that the patrols ensure shipping safety and showcase China’s innovative efforts in promoting international police cooperation.