Laos Could Bear Cost of Chinese Railroad

China is financing a railway from Southern China to Laos, Thailand and Burma – “China considers it vital to its strategy of pulling Southeast Asia closely into its orbit and providing Beijing with another route to transport oil from the Middle East,” report Jane Perlez and Bree Feng for the New York Times. Laos is taking on tremendous debt for the project, and the bulk of trade benefits are expected to head directly to China, the New York times report adds. International development experts from the UN Development Program, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank have criticized the loan structure, suggesting that the immense debt, with conditions for collateral in minerals and resources, could destabilize Laos. Both China and Laos are ruled by communist governments. Construction will be done by thousands of Chinese workers, and the report points out that Chinese have rented nearly half the agriculture land surrounding Oudom Xai. Some Laotians express concern that their country could become a vassal state to China. – YaleGlobal

Laos Could Bear Cost of Chinese Railroad

Chinese loan financing of railroad running through Laos, Thailand and Burma could bring boom and destabilization, warn global development experts
Jane Perlez, Bree Feng
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Copyright © 2013 The New York Times Company

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