VIENTIANE, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Somdy Douangdy said the China-Laos railway has become a carrier and symbol of the friendship between Laos and China.
Somdy made the remark while inspecting the main construction sites of the China-Laos Railway in Lao capital Vientiane, where he visited the China-Laos Railway Exhibition Hall, and held a symposium to hear the railway construction report.
According to the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd.(LCRC), a joint venture based in Vientiane in charge of the railway's construction and operation, the railway offline civil engineering has entered the final stage, and the construction of the online track, the communication and signal, the M&E (mechanical and electrical) engineering and the station building has been fully commenced.
The progress of the project meets the timetable of opening to traffic in December 2021, the LCRC general manager Xiao Qianwen said to Xinhua on Friday.
Somdy spoke highly of the construction of the Laos-China Railway, saying that the railway crosses mountains and rivers.
At the same time, the Chinese engineering companies proactively participate in the activities of building roads and bridges for the Lao people, free medical services, and donations.
The Lao deputy prime minister vowed that the Lao government will, as always, support the construction of the Laos-China railway and provide conveniences for its construction.
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 414-km railway, with 198-km 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.