Laos section of China-Laos Railway able to carry 22,000 passengers now
Published: Dec 21, 2021 09:45 PM
The China-Laos Railway in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China's Yunnan Province, on October 17, 2021 Photo: VCG

The China-Laos Railway in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China's Yunnan Province, on October 17, 2021 Photo: VCG

As the flagship project of mutual cooperation, the China-Laos Railway has achieved tangible results since it opening more than half a month ago, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. 

As of December 15, the total value cargo carried had exceeded 100 million yuan ($15 million), as provinces including Southwest China's Yunnan, and East China's Shandong and Jiangsu, have opened international freight service on the railway.

The Laos section of the China-Laos Railway had carried 22,000 passengers as of Monday, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the ministry, said.

The response came after Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh refuted the slander against the China-Laos Railway. He said that the so-called claim that the "China-Laos Railway has put Laos in a debt trap" is completely slanderous, saying that the railway meets the Lao people's development needs and will greatly promote personnel and trade exchanges, and bring more benefits to the people.

Zhao said that the China-Laos Railway meets the development needs of Laos, and the railway helps Laos' strategy of moving from a landlocked nation to a land-linked one, and it will activate the vitality of Laos' development and shorten the distance between Laos and the world.

Zhao said his colleague in Vientiane told him that many Lao people enthusiastically buy tickets every day to experience the positive changes brought by the China-Laos Railway in their work and life, and express their love and support for the railway with practical actions. 

Zhao added that the China-Laos Railway will also connect more countries to the north and south in the future, and it is believed that it will continue to play a greater leading role for China, Laos and other countries in the region.

On December 3, the 1,035-kilometer-long China-Laos Railway, a signature project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), officially went into full operation, catapulting the landlocked Southeast Asian nation into a Chinese standard-powered modern railway era that honors China's promise of enabling inclusive growth along the BRI routes.

Following the railway's launch, Chinese cities ranging from Southwest China's Chongqing and Chengdu to South China's Shenzhen opened freight trains to Laos, with many running routes for the first time and shortening the transport time by half compared with sea transport.

Market watchers said that the railway will help Laos expand trade and attract investment, catapulting the landlocked Southeast Asian nation into a land-linked hub, and also facilitate regional countries to seize opportunities fueled by the world's largest trade deal as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership pact will take effect starting January 1, 2022.

Global Times