Laos, China dust off train project

The long delayed rail link between Laos and China will be revived after a pledge between their leaders.

Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and Chinese Premier Li Kequiang confirmed that the project would go forward in a summit held ahead of the Boao Forum for Asia in Sanya in Hainan province on Tuesday, the Vientiane Times said on Thursday.

The project was supposed to launch in 2011 and complete next year with 70% of funding from China. But a Chinese firm pulled the plug on it.

The 421km railway will run from the Lao-Chinese border in Yunnan province to Vientiane. It will connect to the railway network to Thailand in Nong Khai and run to Singapore. Thailand plans to build a high-speed train from Bangkok to the northeastern province.

The two government leaders will find a formula on the venture of the project to benefit the two countries, as Mr Li stressed its importance, the state-owned newspaper said.

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