Southeast Asia: The Muddied Mekong

After the war in Viet Nam finally ends, what will be done to bind up the wounds and lift the impoverished economy of the whole region? Remarkably, much has already been accomplished. Leaders of four of the nations that share the Indo-Chinese peninsula-Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and South Viet Nam—have buried deep political antagonisms and have been swept up in what they call the spirit of the Mekong. They envision a vast project to harness the Mekong River for power, irrigation and flood control; that could enable the region to grow enough food to feed much of Asia and...

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