KUNMING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The 81st Mekong River joint patrol led by China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand started on Tuesday from Guanlei Port in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
Three vessels from the Chinese side participated in the four-day patrol which will involve inspections, a crackdown on drug crimes and an anti-drug publicity campaign, according to the provincial public security department.
The mission will cover key waters including the "Golden Triangle," an area notorious for drug production.
The joint patrols started in December 2011 after a gang hijacked two cargo ships and killed 13 Chinese sailors in Thai waters on Oct. 5 that year.
The Mekong River, known as the Lancang River in China, is a vital waterway for cross-border shipping among China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.