A trainee in Laos learns train signals from a Chinese mentor on the northern outskirts of Vientiane ahead of the opening of the China-Laos railway. Photo: Xinhua
A trainee in Laos learns train signals from a Chinese mentor on the northern outskirts of Vientiane ahead of the opening of the China-Laos railway. Photo: Xinhua

Laos’ China-funded belt and road railway: Thailand licks its lips, but fears for Luang Prabang’s World Heritage Site

  • Laos section of pan-Asia rail route linking Kunming in China to Singapore expected to boost trade and tourism
  • But critics say Laos could struggle to repay Chinese debt; that only a fraction of the population will benefit; and that overtourism could threaten Luang Prabang’s world heritage status

A trainee in Laos learns train signals from a Chinese mentor on the northern outskirts of Vientiane ahead of the opening of the China-Laos railway. Photo: Xinhua
A trainee in Laos learns train signals from a Chinese mentor on the northern outskirts of Vientiane ahead of the opening of the China-Laos railway. Photo: Xinhua
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