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International relations

China-Laos railway begins with limited service

Southeast Asia's first high-speed link to stop at Chinese border for now

The railway was built by a Chinese state-owned company at a cost of around $6 billion, 70% of which was borne by China.   © Xinhua/Kyodo

BANGKOK -- The China-Laos high-speed railway kicked off operations on Friday, and although the first passenger run will be made through Laos on Saturday, it remains unknown when cross-border service between the countries will begin.

The railway was built by a Chinese state-owned company, with China bearing 70% of all construction costs, which came to $6 billion, equivalent to one third of Laos' gross domestic product. Once construction began in December 2016, work proceeded smoothly in the one-party Southeast Asian nation.

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