A Chinese-ASEAN delegation of 25 journalists is embarking on a tour that aims to explore the potential of the Laos-China Railway link. The railway line connects the ASEAN nations with China, by turning land-locked Laos into a land transport hub.

The week-long media tour is being organised by the Chinese Mission to ASEAN and China Daily, and intends to demonstrate how the railway, which began operations in December 2021, benefits the flow of people, goods and capital, boosting industrial development along the route, along with people’s livelihoods.

While on the tour, which set off from Vientiane, the capital of Laos, the delegation will meet with various commentators – from Lao deputy ministers of information, culture, and tourism to local residents and representatives of universities and the private sector – to hear their thoughts on the impact the railway has had.

It began with a visit to the cross-border freight yard at Vientiane South Railway Station. 

It will end in Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan province, at the far end of the 1,035 kilometre line, on June 30.

The Laos-China Railway project falls under the umbrella of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and is part of the Pan-Asian railway that connects China to Southeast Asia. The Chinese government is also exploring how to link The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) of Malaysia with the China-Laos and China-Thailand railway lines.

“This line is a large project under the BRI, and represents a major initiative of China. It brings benefits to people all along its route,” said Geng Hailing, counsellor to the Chinese Mission to ASEAN, who is leading the tour.

“The people of ASEAN and China have always had strong ties. We share a long history, are sharing common development now and will surely share our future. The projects of the BRI are the way to make our dreams come true,” she added.