The China-Laos Railway is set to launch on Friday. The 1,035-kilometers (642 miles) railway line will connect the Kunming City of Yunnan Province and Laos’ capital city Vientiane. The railway line will adopt entirely Chinese standards.
China Railway said that the landmark project was part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and China-Laos friendship. The state-owned company added the China-Laos Railway would provide strong support for accelerating the completion of the China-Laos Economic Corridor and building a China-Laos community with a shared future.
Data from the China Railway Kunming Group showed that the ticket sales for the Yuxi-Mohan section started at 11 am on Thursday. Leaders from both countries will meet via video link on Friday and jointly witness the launch of the railway service.
The railway has 11 stations in the Chinese section and ten stations along the 409-kilometer Laos section. Built to travel at a speed of 160 kilometers per hour, the railway line will shorten the time taken to travel between Vientiane and China-Laos border from two days to just three hours. The trip from Kunming city to Vientiane can be made overnight.
Laotian leaders hope the railway will invigorate their isolated economy by linking the country to China and markets as far away as Europe. But foreign experts say the possible benefits to Laos beyond serving as a channel for Chinese trade are unclear, and the cost appears to be perilous.
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