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China-Laos Railway marks bridge of friendship, prosperity
Published: Sep 28, 2022 09:41 PM
Northeast China's Liaoning Province launches it first international freight train that runs via the China-Laos Railway, on March 25, 2022 in provincial capital Shenyang. Photo: VCG

Northeast China's Liaoning Province launches it first international freight train that runs via the China-Laos Railway, on March 25, 2022 in provincial capital Shenyang. Photo: VCG

On September 27, a joint emergency exercise aimed at responding to security incidents on China-Laos Railway was held in the Lao capital of Vientiane. According to the Chinese Embassy in Laos, the emergency drill, testing emergency responses to security incidents, emergency coordination, information transmission, and emergency handling capabilities, achieved the expected results, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The China-Laos Railway is historic, connecting hearts and growing friendships, providing new opportunities for the development of Laos, with the people and enterprises in the region having benefited from it, said Ambassador of Laos to China Khamphao Ernthavanh in an exclusive interview with the Global Times.

The 1,035-kilometer railway officially came into service in 2021 as the two countries celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. It is an integral part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) collaboration connecting Kunming in Southwest China's Yunnan Province to the Lao capital of Vientiane. 

At present, the prospering passenger and freight businesses of the railway are bringing tangible benefits to the Lao people and injecting important impetus into regional cooperation, experts and observers noted.

According to the official data, as of September 3, the total international freight value of the China-Laos Railway had exceeded 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion).

Via Laos, the railway has radiated to eight countries including Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. The cargo categories have expanded from the initial fertilizer, rubber, and daily necessities to nearly 2,000 kinds of commodity categories such as electronics, photovoltaics, communication technology, and flowers.  

The railway has also changed cargo transport, shoring up the regional economy and trade flow, with up to 7.17 million tons of cargo transported as of early September, China domestic news site Thepaper reported.

The railway has also changed cargo transport, shoring up the regional economy and trade flow, with up to 7.17 million tons of cargo transported as of early September.

Apart from the increasing freight volumes, the China-Laos Railway has also made contributions to the eradication of poverty in the region, offering education opportunities, creating jobs, and generating incomes for people along the routes. According to a report released by the World Bank, the China-Laos railway is expected to "increase aggregate income in Laos by up to 21 percent over the long term."

"The China-Laos Railway is becoming an accelerator of regional connectivity and a new engine driving economic cooperation. It has been welcomed by countries across the region. It stands as a vivid example of the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation between China and ASEAN members, and a strong testament to their joint efforts to implement the Global Development Initiative,"Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian remarked at a press conference on July 4.

Experts noted that the China-Laos Railway is a success story under the BRI and has become a vital channel for cross-border cooperation. By this railway, China is sharing prosperity with and bringing tangible benefits to the region and entire world. 

Global Times