China-Laos railway a vivid example of high-quality joint BRI construction between China and ASEAN countries: FM | So Good News
Aerial photo shows a Fuxing bullet train passing through the Nanxihe Bridge on the China-Laos Railway in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, June 2, 2022. Photo:Xinhua
Investment and procurement projects worth tens of billions of yuan have been signed at a China-Laos railway development and promotion conference over the weekend, as the railway has become a vivid depiction of the high-quality joint construction of China’s proposed Belt and Road. initiative (BRI) between China and ASEAN countries, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Monday.
The conference was held during the ongoing fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), scheduled for November 5 to 10 in China’s economic hub Shanghai.
Zhao said the China-Laos Railway has shipped more than 7.5 million passengers after 11 months of operation, greatly facilitating the journeys of people along the line. Last week, all seven freight stations along the Lao section of the China-Laos Railway were put into operation, further accelerating connectivity between countries along the BRI.
During the first 11 months, the China-Laos Railway has operated a total of 225 freight trains, carrying 9.86 million tons of freight. The freight transport covers more than 10 countries under the BRI, including Laos and Vietnam. The freight has expanded from the original 100 types to more than 1,200 types of products ranging from electronics, solar systems, to cold chain fruit.
By exploring new business models such as “gate to gate” and intermodal logistics, cold chain logistics channels Yunnan’s vegetables and fresh flowers south to Laos and Thailand and to be met with northbound Southeast Asian specialties including durian and mangosteen from Thailand and Vietnam.
China’s opening door will only become wider and wider, and China’s new development will bring new opportunities to the world, Zhao said, noting that China will cooperate with Laos and other countries to jointly build the BRI, give full play to the flagship role of China -Laos Railway, to provide more benefits to the people of the countries in the region.
The China-Laos Railway connects Kunming in Yunnan Province in southwest China with Laos’ capital Vientiane. It is the first foreign railway to be jointly constructed and operated by the two countries.
The 1,035 km long railway, a landmark project that reflects high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, began operations on December 3, 2021.
Observers described the railway as transformative, saying the line has turned Laos from a landlocked country into a land-connected hub, bringing countless local jobs and shortening journeys within the country from days to hours.