Later this week, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia will hold the first iteration of a new trilateral border exchange between them in Vietnam. Though the event was just one among many developments within the management of border relations between these countries, its significance nonetheless bears noting within the context of both regional developments on that front as well as Vietnam’s own priorities in this respect.
As I have noted before in these pages, the countries through which the Mekong River – one of the world’s largest, longest rivers – have been working on ways to manage the opportunities and challenges that come from their shared borders, which extends from the highest levels of government down to local border guard units. Vietnam has been a key country in spearheading some of these efforts in terms of the border defense force, both as a key player in mainland Southeast Asia and given the role of the Vietnam Border Defense Force has played a critical role in preserving the country’s sovereignty and prosperity amid periods of conflict abroad as well as institutional contestation at home.
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