China says joint Mekong patrols begin in December

AP News
Posted: Nov 26, 2011 6:50 AM
China says joint Mekong patrols begin in December

China says joint police patrols with Thailand, Laos and Myanmar along the Mekong River will start next month.

China suspended shipping through Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle after two Chinese cargo ships were attacked and 13 sailors killed in early October.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency says the four countries agreed at a ministerial meeting in Beijing that the first joint patrol will be carried out before Dec. 15. It says the patrol will enable shipping to restart and guarantee security.

According to Saturday's Xinhua report, the operation's headquarters will be in China. China will help train and equip police in Laos and Myanmar.

Drug smugglers were initially suspected in the October attack near the Thai-Myanmar border. But nine Thai soldiers later surrendered.