VIENTIANE, June 5 (Xinhua) -- A senior Lao official has spoken highly of the progress achieved in the ongoing construction of the China-Laos railway.
Bounthong Chitmany, a politburo member of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party's central committee, on Thursday visited China Railway No.2 Engineering Group (CREC-2)'s main construction sites in Lao capital Vientiane and was briefed on the project.
On behalf of the Lao government, Bounthong, also Lao deputy prime minister, noted that he was satisfied to see the high-quality and high-speed progress of the railway construction.
The senior Lao official vowed that the Lao side will, as always, provide support and convenience for the construction of the railway to ensure the the project will be completed as scheduled.
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 have 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 on Thursday.
Participating Chinese enterprises have fulfilled their social responsibilities during construction, actively carrying out cultural exchanges, donating for disaster-hit local communities and flooded areas, and assisting localities with anti-epidemic supplies, according to Xiao.
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.