China will release water from a dam in the southwestern province of Yunnan to help alleviate a drought in parts of Southeast Asia, Reuters reports, citing the Foreign Ministry.
The water will be released until April 10 from the Jinghong dam, ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing Tuesday.
It will benefit Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, Lu said.
China “hopes it can be of help in alleviating the drought downstream”, he said.
Vietnamese media reports say about 140,000 hectares of rice paddies in the Mekong Delta have been damaged by the drought, and about 600,000 people face a shortage of drinking water.
While China and Vietnam are involved in an increasingly bitter territorial dispute in the South China Sea, the two communist-led countries have traditionally had close ties.
Beijing and Hanoi have also been trying to repair ties severely harmed in 2014 when Beijing parked an oil rig in waters off the Vietnamese coast, leading to anti-China riots.
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