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Belt and Road

Ambition, concern drive Lao-China high-speed rail project

December marks one year since Vientiane's bet on China's Belt and Road

A high-speed train pulls into Boten Station in Laos. The Lao–China Railway marked the first anniversary of its opening on Dec. 3, 2022. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi) 

TOKYO -- On the first anniversary of the opening of the Lao-China Railway on Dec. 3, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency touted the project as a big success for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Beijing's continent-spanning infrastructure drive and the centerpiece of President Xi Jinping's foreign policy.

The 1,035-kilometer line, which links Kunming, in China's Yunnan province, and the Laotian capital of Vientiane, has transported "8.5 million passengers and 11.2 million tons of freight" in its first year, Xinhua said in an English-language article on the project.

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