GLOBALink | China-Laos Railway demonstrates spirit of community with shared future: Chinese envoy
VIENTIANE, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The China-Laos Railway is the road of connectivity and the road of friendship as well, and the project cooperation embodies the spirit of the China-Laos community of a shared future, Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong has said.
Referring to the characteristics of and inspirations from the China-Laos Railway, Ambassador Jiang said in a recent interview with Xinhua that it is a project in which the two sides sincerely cooperate and pursue excellence under the guidance of top leadership, and both sides should strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation.
The construction of the railway started in December 2016. It is expected to be operational in December 2021.
The 1,013-km cross-border railway consists of two sections, one in China and the other in Laos. The 414-km section in Laos will run from Boten border gate in the northern part of the country to the Lao national capital city of Vientiane, with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.
Jiang said the project is a major achievement of the docking of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos's development strategy to convert itself from a land-locked country to a land-linked hub.
As a landmark project of China-Laos friendship, the railway carries the aspirations of the two peoples for a better life and demonstrates the strength of solidarity and cooperation between both countries, he said.
The construction of the railway has been receiving strong guidance and promotions from the two countries' top leadership. The relevant departments and local governments of the two countries have worked closely together to open a "fast-track lane" for personnel and a "green channel" for goods to ensure smooth construction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ambassador noted that due to the complex geological terrain in northern Laos, bridges and tunnels make a significant part of the Lao section.
The Chinese and Lao engineers have overcome the unfavorable geological condition to build the railway with high standards and sound quality, which has laid a solid foundation to ensure a timely opening of the railway and its smooth operation in the long run.
Jiang noted that the China-Laos Railway is not only a key project of China-Laos cooperation, but also a key hub of the regional transport network, which is of great significance to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Laos, and regional connectivity.
The Chinese ambassador suggested that the companies concerned should work on connecting the China-Laos Railway to the Laos-Thailand Railway so as to further connect the networks of the Singapore-Malaysia railway and the China-Europe Railway Express.
Jiang also encouraged comprehensive development along the railway to facilitate the flow of passengers, goods and capital against the pandemic, and to inject impetus for the recovery of the Lao economy and pragmatic cooperation between China and Laos.
He also hoped that the railway will improve the people's livelihood in Laos.
The construction of the railway has offered more than 110,000 job opportunities for Lao people. Around 2,000 km of roads and canals have been built along the railway in Laos, according to the Chinese ambassador.
Regarding the future cooperation of both countries, Jiang said that the Chinese side is willing to cooperate with the Lao side on the projects including building a modern oil refinery and the national backbone power grid in Laos, while promoting the Lao cattle export to China.
"Both sides should continue to bring more visible and tangible benefits to the two peoples to demonstrate the spirit of the China-Laos community with a shared future," he said.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service