A total of six countries — China, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand — have relied on the Mekong River for generations. This shared use in the absence of clear ownership makes the river a regional transboundary common pool resource.
In a conference on Sino-Cambodian cooperation held in June 2015, Bu Jianguo, China’s ambassador to Cambodia, identified Cambodia as being located on China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road development plan.
On March 8, 2015, a Tatmadaw fighter jet battling rebels from the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army in the Kokang region accidentally bombed a village in Gengma county in China’s Yunnan province, destroying a house.
Speculation is rife that it is now a good opportunity for the US to nurture Vietnam into a strategic ally in its pivot to Asia, but, plagued by bilateral political distrust, it seems that Vietnam can only be an ally of convenience at best.