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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor builds on China-Laos Railway success

Another remarkable example of the Belt and Road Initiative in action.

Train leaves the Chinese city of Xi'an for the capital of Laos, Vientiane, April 22, 2022

While the first trains on the new China-Laos railway line began to run in December, 2021, the route is now becoming an integral part of China's New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor which aims to dramatically cut transport times from the People's Republic to Laos and the Indian Ocean.

Part of China's global Belt and Road Initiative, the China-Laos railway has been a tremendous success so far. By the end of January, after only two months of operation, over one million passengers and 500,000 tons of cargo had been transported along the line.

The link is especially important for Laos, an underdeveloped and landlocked Communist country that had virtual no railway infrastructure prior to this. The railway is predicted to help the Laotian economy greatly with both exports and tourism.

The line is part of a larger plan for the region that has now begun in earnest.

In early April the first outbound train of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor left the southwest Chinese city of Chongqing.

According to the Chinese media outlet Xinhua the cargo of motorcycle parts would...:

first reach the Laotian capital Vientiane by railway and pass through Thailand via highways before arriving at Myanmar’s Yangon, its final destination.
The new freight service is estimated to take about 10 to 14 days to reach Yangon, cutting the logistics time by more than 20 days compared to the traditional route that goes to eastern coastal cities via the Yangtze River and then out to sea, according to the corridor’s operator.
By the end of last year, destinations that can be reached via the corridor had been expanded to 315 ports in 107 countries and regions worldwide.

Now trains are leaving Xi'an, the capital of China's Northwest landlocked Shaanxi Province for the Laotian capital.

Another remarkable example of the Belt and Road Initiative of mutually beneficial infrastructure development in action.

As Yin Chengzhi, an associate professor at the School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University said in December:

The China-Laos railway is an integral part of the Belt and Road Initiative's key infrastructure network, which may contribute to the interconnection and economic cooperation between China and not only Laos but also the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.


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