An analysis of the constraining factors on Greater Mekong Subregion cooperation: A case study of the Kunming-Bangkok Channel


  • Zhao Shulan is Deputy Director and Senior Research fellow at the Inter national Collaborations Offi ce, Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, P. R. China


Kunming-Bangkok Channel, restrictive factors, structural problems, mutual complements in economy, cultural difference


Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) cooperation from the perspective of regional development is restricted by political, economic and cultural factors in the process of promotion. The Kunming-Bangkok corridor is the central line of the GMS SouthNorth Economic Corridor, which was jointly launched by the Asian
Development Bank and China to connect China and ASEAN Countries. But as soon as the Corridor was built in 2013, it was found to be diffi cult to break through the bottleneck of development. Th is can be seen as a common point in diff erent aspects of GMS cooperation. Moreover, the diff erent demands and institutional diff erences of various countries on the Mekong River are political factors that restrict GMS cooperation development. Th e gap between countries
in the level of economic development makes it diffi cult to establish complementarity, resulting in the long-term stagnation of regional cooperation at this stage. In addition, people from diff erent countries in the region have diff erent understandings on development, which makes it diffi cult for regional forces to coordinate and integrate. Although there are various constraints, economic demand will break through the layers of constraint and further promote regional
cooperation, once the door to economic cooperation is opened. To sum up, it is expected there are still broad prospects for the development of the Kunming - Bangkok Corridor between China and Thailand.


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How to Cite

Shulan, Zhao. 2020. “An Analysis of the Constraining Factors on Greater Mekong Subregion Cooperation: A Case Study of the Kunming-Bangkok Channel”. ASIAN REVIEW 32 (2):5-22.



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