Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Talks Underway for China-Laos Speed Rail

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and visiting Laotian Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong pledged to establish transport connections between the two countries during a meeting in Sanya in Hainan province.

An inter-governmental agreement on the building of a trans-border railway connection from Vientiane to China is in the pipeline.

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Li highlighted the agreement as an all-important deal between Laos and China, a part of the ongoing cooperative effort of the two neighbors.

Premier Thongsing says his nation, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN), is looking forward to the high speed rail project, to further enhance the cooperation.

Both Prime Ministers were in agreement that the discussions should be speeded up to enable the railway project to become a reality soon.

China is currently implementing various long-term development plans involving high speed rail lines across the country and into key trading partners.

As the world's second largest economy, China aims to take advantage of its current upswing economic phase to link up with key trading partners.

Laos is currently emerging from its tempered economic growth that resulted from political turmoil in the last few years.

Vientiane's membership in the ASEAN, one of China's major trading partners, serves as strategic asset to allow Laos to become the gateway for China-ASEAN trade.

The initial phase of the speed rail will connect the Chinese provincial capital of Yunnan into the Laotian capital under a loan extended by the Export-Import Bank of China.

The two leaders will also attend the on-going Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference that was founded in 2011 as a gathering of non-government and non-profit organizations dedicated to leading Asian countries into accomplishing goals through regional cooperation.

The conference will come to an end this April 11. 

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