VIENTIANE, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith spoke highly of China-Laos railway construction achievements when inspecting the construction of the railway's Vientiane station on Thursday.
"This is the sixth time I have come to the Laos-China railway construction sites," Prime Minister Thongloun said at a symposium held during his inspection, saying that from the very beginning, the construction of the Laos-China railway has brought positive changes in the appearance of the cities and towns, promoted social and economic development and increased the employment of the people along the railway.
He expressed his appreciation for the railway's design scheme and well-organized construction work, and satisfaction over every achievement since the commencement of the railway construction.
The China-Laos Railway will run some 422 km from Boten border gate in northern Laos, bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.
It is seen as 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.
Xiao Qianwen, the general manager of the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd (LCRC), a joint venture based in Lao capital Vientiane in charge of the railway's construction and operation, briefed the Lao primie minister on the railway's contruction work, noting that the engineering companies have completed 91 percent work of building the tunnels, bridges and roadbed.
With the COVID-19 pandemic lingering around, and the pressure from the tight timetable and heavy workload, the LCRC will continue to push forward the construction with high quality and efficiency, and thoroughly prepare for the future operation and management, Xiao said.
The Lao prime minister praised all the participating firms' efforts made to overcome the impact of the pandemic and ensure the construction schedule, encouraging the LCRC to apply its advanced experiences to the Laos-China railway project to build the railway into a modernized one as to serve the development in the Laos and Southeastern Asia.
Thongloun also instructed the relevant departments of the Lao government to go all out to create favorable conditions for the construction of the project and to ensure its timely opening to traffic.
The construction of the railway started in December 2016 and is scheduled to be completed in December 2021. Enditem