Reactions to the reports have ranged from predictable to surprising. As would be expected, civil society groups seized on the Stimson revelations to call for action to change Chinese policies in the future. More surprising has been the quick reaction of the Mekong River Commission to call into question the validity of data released by Eyes on Earth, basically arguing that there is need for further study before any conclusions are reached. This seem an odd reaction from a body dedicated to the Mekong’s wellbeing. 

It is not surprising that Global Times has reported a Chinese study suggesting that the dams China has built on the Mekong play a vital role during the wet season, as opposed to what occurs before that season is in progress. 

This study has been answered in detail by Eyler in a recent Bangkok Post op-ed.

Finally, the silence from the governments of the Lower Mekong Basin countries is surprising. Perhaps Laos and Cambodia are now so aligned with China that their voices are stilled, but it would seem reasonable to expect that Vietnam and Thailand might join in the chorus of concern that has emanated from civil society groups.