A group of members of the National Assembly (NA) of Laos pose for a group photo with Chinese engineers in Vientiane, capital of Laos, Nov. 14, 2020. A Lao National Assembly (NA) visit group, consisting of 55 NA members, visited a rail-welding yard of the China Railway No. 2 Engineering Group (CREC-2) on Saturday. (Photo by Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua)
VIENTIANE, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- An observation group consisting of 55 Lao National Assembly (NA) members has visited the China-Laos railway rail-welding yard and taken a trial train tour to observe and exchange views on the construction of the railway.
Xiao Qianwen, the general manager of the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd., a joint venture based in Lao capital Vientiane undertaking the construction and operation of the railway, said on Saturday that the company will build the railway into the road of development, friendship and happiness.
Saithong Keoduangdy, chairman of the NA Law Committee, spoke highly of the achievements of the railway construction. He said that the Laos-China Railway is a long-awaited road of dream for the people of Laos, and it is also a strategic cooperation project between the two countries.
Its opening to traffic next year will improve the living standards of the people along the railway, will increase employment, and help the Lao people walk on their way to prosperity, he said.
The Lao NA group leader also said the National Assembly will actively strengthen publicity and mobilization, to improve the Lao people's awareness to care and protect the railway and ensure the safety of railway traffic.
The China-Laos Railway is a strategic docking project between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos' strategy to convert from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.
The 422-km railway, with 198-km-long 75 tunnels and 62-km bridges, will run from Boten border gate in northern Laos, bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.
The electrified passenger and cargo railway is built with the full application of Chinese management and technical standards.
The project started in December 2016 and is scheduled to be completed and open to traffic in December 2021. Enditem