VIENTIANE, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has paid an inspection visit to the construction site of China-Laos railway in Lao northern Oudomxay and Luang Prabang provinces.
The China-Laos railway commanding department under China Railway Group Limited told Xinhua on Monday that the prime minister visited some tunnel and bridge construction sites in the northern provinces and listened to brief introduction on construction progress.
The Lao prime minister was satisfied with construction process after visits made on Saturday and Sunday.
Accordingly, after listening to introduction that construction of China-Laos railway will be completed on Dec. 31, 2021, Thongloun asked whether the railway can be opened to traffic on Dec. 2, 2021 as Dec. 2 is the National Day of Laos.
After consultation, Deputy Head of Engineering Management Center of China Railway Sun Guijiang, Director General of Laos-China Railway Company Zhao Xiang and Head of China-Laos railway commanding department Huang Hong told the Lao PM that their teams will try their best to have the railway opened to traffic on Dec. 2, 2021.
During the visits, Prime Minister Thongloun told the Chinese construction companies that the Laos-China railway is a bilateral strategic cooperation project and will forge win-win relationship and common development of the two countries.
The prime minster also said the completion of the Laos-China railway will provide energetic impetus to Lao economic development and bring substantial benefits to the two peoples.
The China-Laos railway has a total length of over 414 km with over 60 percent of bridges and tunnels, linking Mohan-Boten border gate in northern Laos and capital Vientiane. Operating speed on the route is designed at 160 km per hour.
Ground-breaking ceremony of the project was held in December 2015 and construction of the whole route was commenced in December 2016.
Construction of the project is scheduled for five years with investment of some 40 billion Chinese yuan (5.8 billion U.S. dollars), 70 percent of which comes from Chinese investment and the rest from the Lao side.
The China-Laos railway is the first overseas route connecting with the railway system in China, using Chinese technology, equipment and investment.