Research Activities

Research Projects

Lancang Mekong Cooperation Summit (2019_2_40_013)


Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) is one of the newest institutions involved in Mekong nations. LMC is a China-sponsored cooperation established in 2015, and its first summit was held in 2016. However, what is the Chinese motivation behind it? Does China expect the balance of power to shift in the Mekong region or the maximization of economic benefits as discussed by realists or liberalists? Given that the most-critical feature of LMC is the exclusion of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the U.S., Japan, and Indonesia, Chinese involvement can be understood as an enterprise to assume exclusive leadership and to conduct a high-handed policy to enhance its international status. Understanding the Chinese motivation behind LMC would give us some fresh insight into its larger, exclusionary regional projects, such as the RCEP (excluding the U.S.) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) (excluding the U.S. and Japan).


April 2019 - March 2021

Members of the Research Project
[ Organizer ] Hamanaka Shintaro
[ Co-researcher ] Bunyavejchewin Poowin (Institute of East Asian Studies Thammasat University, Research Fellow)
[ Co-researcher ] Chheang Vannarith (Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, Senior Fellow)
  • IDE Research Bulletin
  • Discussion Paper