Lao, Chinese Media, Academic Officials Meet on One Belt One Road Initiative

Lao, Chinese Media, Academic Officials Meet on One Belt One Road Initiative

Senior officials representing print and broadcast media organizations of Laos and Chinese academics met in Vientiane on Friday to help members of the media enrich their understanding of the One Belt One Road Initiative and development in China.

One Belt One Road was initiated by the Chinese government in 2013 to connect China with over 60 countries in Asia and Europe in the five spheres of policy, trade, finance, the development of infrastructure and people to people exchanges.

It refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a significant development strategy designed to promote economic co-operation among countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes, enhance the orderly free flow of economic factors and efficiently allocate resources. It is also intended to further market integration and create a regional economic co-operation framework of benefit to all.

Since the launching of the One Belt One Road Initiative in 2013, China has invested over US$50 billion in countries that will benefit from the One Belt One Road Initiative and over 12,500 agreements, representing total investment of US$279 billion have been signed.

The Lao-China Railway project is an important part of the One Belt One Road Initiative. It will have a total length of 414 km, linking the Mohan-Boten border gate in northern Laos with the capital Vientiane.

Its designed maximum speed for passenger trains will be 160 km/h, while the speed of 200 km/h will be applied in the flat terrain areas between Vang Vieng and Vientiane Capital. The max speed for cargo trains will be 120 kmh.

As many as 33 stations, including 21 by-pass stations and 11 passenger stations, will be built along the railway line stretching between Luang Namtha and Vientiane. In addition, one main freight station will be built in Vientiane.

The major construction activities include 175.5 km of subgrade, 170 bridges with total length of 69.2 km, and 72 tunnels with total length of 183.9 km. The longest tunnel, called the Lao-China Friendship Tunnel, will be about 9.5 km in length.

The total estimated project cost is almost US$6 billion, which is about US$13.6 million per kilometre.

China will be responsible for 70 per cent of the total investment, while Laos will take the remainder.

“I believe that once the Lao-China Railway project is completed, the project will bring a number of benefits to Laos in many areas. Tourism, culture and trade businesses along the railway will benefit and I believe that the economic growth of the Lao PDR will be greater than 8%,” said Zhang Zhenjiang, Director, Centre for Transnational Migration Studies, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.

Source: Lao News Agency