On fast track for development

(Xinhua) 08:23, October 16, 2023

A train drives on the China-Laos Railway's Luang Prabang cross-Mekong River super major bridge in Laos, May 28, 2023. (Photo by Chen Chang/Xinhua)

BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Ahead of this year's Mid-Autumn Festival, passengers traveling on the China-Laos Railway were greeted by a pleasant surprise: a flash mob performance celebrating the festival at the railway's Vientiane Station.

Touched by the beautiful singing, everyone applauded and wished each other "Happy Mid-Autumn Festival" in both Chinese and Lao.

Since its inauguration, the 1,035-km railway, a bilateral cooperation project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has brought the two countries and peoples closer as it facilitates communication and exchange.

Over the years, Chinese President Xi Jinping has attached great importance to its development.

On Dec. 3, 2021, when attending the railway's opening ceremony with Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith, Xi recalled, "In 2015, I, together with Lao leaders, made a major decision to build the China-Laos Railway."

"With the railway, the mountain from Kunming to Vientiane is no longer high, and the road no longer long," Xi said. He expressed the hope that the railway would develop into "a golden line for the benefit of the people of both countries."

Nearly a year later, a similar scene played out in Indonesia. On Nov. 16, 2022, Xi and his Indonesian counterpart, Joko Widodo, jointly issued the command to commence the operational trial of Southeast Asia's first high-speed railway -- the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway (HSR).

On Oct. 2 this year, the first official train of the railway line glided away from the platform of Halim Station in Jakarta, declaring the start of the HSR's official operation.

Both railways manifest the fruition of the BRI and reflect China's outlook on global development championed by Xi.

From the perspective of the Chinese president, no country can exclude itself from the international community if it seeks to develop.

"China will do well only when the world does well, and vice versa," Xi's words are perhaps the most concise explanation of why China chooses to assist other countries in infrastructure development through international cooperation programs, including the BRI.

"Belt and Road cooperation pursues development, aims at mutual benefits, and conveys a message of hope," Xi once said.

Today, Xi's aspirations for the China-Laos Railway have become a reality. Laos, a landlocked country, has been truly transformed into a land-linked hub in Southeast Asia.

Into its tenth year, the BRI continues to be a shining example of how China fulfills its commitment to the world.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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