Original title: What does the opening of the China-Laos railway mean for the friendship across the mountains?
On December 3, the entire line of the China-Laos Railway was put into operation. The picture shows a conductor in national costume waving out the window.Photo by China News Agency reporter Liu Ranyang
Text / Liu Liang
Starting from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, China, and to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, in the south, the 1035-kilometer China-Laos Railway finally “comes together” after years of engineering research and construction over the mountains and mountains.
With the official opening of the China-Laos railway a few days ago, several analysts pointed out in an interview with China News Service that this railway line that unites the friendship between China and Laos also symbolizes that China-Laos cooperation has entered the fast lane and is achieving a win-win situation between China and Laos. At the same time, it will also bring a win-win prospect for cooperation.
As the saying goes, “If you want to get rich, build roads first.” The transportation industry is known as the “pioneer” of economic development. The opening of the China-Laos railway changed the history of Laos in the past when it only had 3.5 kilometers of railways to the Thai border. The economic significance behind it is self-evident. China-Laos “win-win”
Zhang Xiaotao, Dean of the School of International Economics and Trade of the Central University of Finance and Economics, pointed out in an interview with China News Service that the transportation infrastructure promotes the flow of people and logistics along specific routes to achieve spatial displacement, which provides for the optimization of the spatial allocation of people, assets, and industrial agglomeration. Possibly, it plays an extremely important role in regional development.
Zhang Xiaotao analyzed that Laos is the only landlocked country in the northern part of the Indochina Peninsula, bordering China to the north, Cambodia to the south, Vietnam to the east, Myanmar to the northwest, and Thailand to the southwest. With the opening of the China-Laos railway, Laos is expected to turn its geographical disadvantages into advantages, from a “land-locked country” to a “land-linked country” and become a land transportation hub connecting all countries.
In Zhang Xiaotao’s view, after the opening of the China-Laos railway, Laos’ economic and social development will be promoted through “bringing in” and “going out”. The improvement of transportation infrastructure will accelerate its industrialization and urbanization process and attract foreign investment. At the same time, the new channel will drive the Lao people, culture, and products to go out. In the short term, it will include extractive industries, labor-intensive industries, business services, and tourism. In the long run, industrialization, urbanization, population mobility, and acceleration of industrial agglomeration will also bring about significant economic effects.
As far as China is concerned, this hard-won transportation line is also of great significance.
Bai Ming, deputy director of the International Market Research Institute of the Institute of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, said that the opening of the China-Laos railway will help improve the traffic situation in the “old, young, borderline and poor areas” in southwest China, and bring local economic development opportunities. It also provides the common people with the opportunity to connect with the outside world to broaden their horizons.
Achieve “multiple wins”
With the opening of the China-Laos railway, this cooperation “model” will also bring demonstration effects to more countries and promote the formation of a win-win situation.
Bai Ming pointed out that in view of the opening of the China-Laos railway, the enthusiasm of other countries to participate in railway construction will also increase. In the context of the imminent entry into force of RCEP, the requirements of various countries for trade liberalization and logistics facilitation are also increasing. This may become a “catalyst” for more ASEAN countries to establish transportation links with China in the future.
In the eyes of Xu Ningning, executive chairman of the China-ASEAN Business Council and chairman of the RCEP Industrial Cooperation Committee, the opening of the China-Laos railway is a major cooperation achievement in the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”. It not only consolidates the China-Laos community with a shared future, and brings the friendly relations and economic and trade cooperation between the two countries into a new milestone, but also contributes to deepening the good-neighborly and friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN, advancing the Lancang-Mekong subregional cooperation, and building the ASEAN economic community. Made a positive contribution.
“The China-Laos railway is a new development of interconnection, which provides convenience for regional countries to seize the opportunities brought by the opening of the RCEP market. The’Belt and Road Initiative’ has a demonstrative effect.” Xu Ningning said.
Zhang Xiaotao pointed out that after eight years, the “One Belt One Road” interconnection pattern with “six corridors, six roads, multiple countries and multiple ports” has basically taken shape. In his view, the construction of a number of major infrastructure projects such as the China-Laos Railway has improved the level of connectivity between China and countries along the route. It will not only promote local economic and social development, but also help improve the local and global economic links, integrate into the international division of labor, and give full play to The regional advantage of factor endowments allows more countries to enjoy the dividends of globalization.
Source: The country is a through train