VIENTIANE, 21 September 2018: A high-speed rail line linking China’s Yunnan province with the Lao capital Vientiane should open in 2021 as officials confirm 40% of the work has already been completed.
Laotian Times reported, earlier this week, on the progress of the rail line built and financed by the Chinese following a forum held in Nanning to mark the 5th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The report said tourists and residents in Laos would be able to travel to China’s Yunnan province on the northbound route and ultimately the line would connect with Thailand’s planned high-speed rail line from the border at Nong Khai to Bangkok covering a distance of 845 km.
It is understood that the China-financed line through Laos will ultimately merge with the Thailand section possibly at junction station between the Laos capital and the Mekong River border with Thailand.
The project is now 40% complete and on track to open in 2021, a senior academic from Laos told the Nanning strategic dialogue forum held in conjunction with the China-ASEAN Expo.
Speaking at the 11th China-ASEAN Think Tank Strategic Dialogue Forum in Nanning, Guangxi province, the Associate Dean of the Lao Academy of Social Sciences said the railway would serve to connect China and ASEAN and was a key element to transform Laos from a landlocked country to a land-linked country.