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China, Laos to start railway co-op

Updated: Nov 14,2015 10:07 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Chinese and Laotian governments on Nov 13 signed an agreement on the construction of a cross-border railway to boost economic cooperation and regional growth.

The railroad will stretch 418 km to link the two country’s border area, Mohan and Boten ports, and Lao’s capital Vientiane, with joint investment totalling 40 billion yuan ($6.28 billion), 70 percent from China and 30 percent from Laos, according to the agreement.

As over 60 percent of the railway runs through bridges and tunnels, the operating speed is designed at 160 km per hour.

Wang Xiaotao, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, expects the railway to start operating in 2020 and said it will spur economic and social development in Laos and generate fresh impetus to China’s southwestern regions.

The railway will also reach Thailand and Malaysia in the future and Chinese tourists will be able to travel to those countries by train, Wang said.