China comes to the Covid-19 rescue in Laos

The Beijing-backed and financed China-Lao high-speed railway’s official inauguration was planned for December 2021, symbolically opening coincident with the 46th anniversary of the founding of communist rule in Laos.

But the Covid-19 crisis has caused delays in the 414-kilometer railway’s construction, with progress on the link from the northern Lao border town of Boten down to the capital Vientiane now frozen amid the viral panic.

The mega-project is not only an expression of the friendship that China has established in recent years with its impoverished southern neighbor. It also aims to serve as a connective gateway linking southern China with Thailand and the rest of mainland Southeast Asia with plans to extend as far south as Singapore.

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