The One Belt and One Road in the Eyes of Laos

Jeremy Hart

The One Belt and One Road in the Eyes of Laos

What can the “Belt and Road” bring to the people of China's neighboring countries?

Only by going deep into these countries can we feel the same.



In the Laos province of Laos, adjacent to Yunnan, China, “Udomsey” means “rich and victorious” in Laotian, but the actual situation is not the same as its name. 

I have been there before. It was in the summer, and the heavy rain made the road more muddy and difficult to walk. The car has been stopped and stopped.


I saw a family on the roadside.


This is a simple dwelling. The house was built of bamboo, and a few asbestos tiles were placed on the roof. The house has no windows, leaving only a "door" that communicates with the outside world, without a door panel. Such a house can only shelter from the wind and rain.


There are no walls around the house, and a few chickens are looking for food in Sichuan leisurely.


Walking into the house, it was really a wall of the family. Because the walls of the bamboo were soaking the wind, the walls were covered with plastic woven bags.


There is no electricity, of course, there is no modern living goods, nor any furniture. Putting the blanket directly on the floor is the bed.


What can be felt in the modern social atmosphere in the house is a few advertisements, a table called a plastic box for clothes, and several bottles.


I was curious to ask her why there is a scale in the house?


She told me that this is for the sale of native products. Now it can only be tourists. It can't sell much, and it can't make much money. If there is a railway in the future, it would be fine.


The hostess entertained us, and she was able to take out only the rice of her own family cooked in a pot. The taste of this rice is very good and very fragrant. The so-called kitchen is just a soil stove, and the surrounding is not ventilated at all.


If you see such a kitchen, you will definitely think of going back to the primitive society, except that several plastic basins are products that embody the human industrial society.


For this family, in addition to passing vehicles and tourists on the road, the external civilized society is almost a fairy tale. Because of the inconvenient transportation, local people live a life of isolation, poverty, and poverty. In such an environment, they feel self-sufficient happiness and comfort.


If they go out and see the outside world, I am afraid that my heart will never feel that my life is very happy and beautiful.


They lack a railway!




Laos has almost no industry. Apart from the capital city of Vientiane and the largest city in the north, Luang Prabang, people in most places still live in the primitive agricultural society, and social development is stagnant.


For example, the capital of the province of Bogor in the north of Laos will be sunburned. This is the capital of a province, but what about social development?


It will be located at the border between Thailand and Laos. It is reasonable to say that economic development should be good, but it is not as good as a township in rural China.


The entire city is only a few hundred meters long and there is only one main road. Because it is dedicated to foreign tourists, it is called “foreigner street”.


There are many hotels and small shops on both sides of the street. The service is mainly for foreign tourists.


Local people, in addition to the service industry, rely mainly on agriculture and fisheries.


We came to a family that would be sunning the Gonghe River. The house was built with wood. It was a house, but rather a semi-open shack.


The light inside the house was very dark and there was no family. The fishermen who had a hard day ate a very simple meal: rice and the fish they had brought.


Several people showed me a simple and warm smile, and pointed to the bowl, meaning let me eat with them. I declined their kind invitations, and I couldn't help but feel so sweet: these people are really kind, but life is so simple, just in the stage of filling the stomach.


When they knew that we came to China, they thought of looking at China or working. I asked if they knew the old and middle railways being built? They regret to answer, know, but do not go through the sun.


For them, without a railway, going out to work is probably an unreachable dream.




Laos, this country is because of its primitive nature, the natural environment has not been artificially transformed and destroyed, and it has become a tourist paradise for tourists in Europe and America. It is the last "pure land" in Southeast Asia.


Of course, for foreign tourists who like the original ecology, this place is good. They only see the beauty of the natural scenery here. Who will pay attention to the food and clothing of these poor people?



Most of the people in this country are in poverty. Laos' GDP in 2017 was 16.853 billion US dollars, which is still not catching up with a county in the southeast of China.


Because it is a landlocked country, 80% of the territory is mountainous and plateau, covered by forests, inconvenient transportation, plus the country has no industry, and there is no modern agriculture, so the economy is difficult to develop.


If the Lao people want to sell their agricultural products and special products, or want to go out to work and get rich, the biggest difficulty in front of them is the first traffic problem.


For Laos, it is unrealistic to build a railway by itself. The financial resources of the entire country cannot be borne. Nor is there a Western company that intends to build a railway because it is unprofitable.


This country is only a place for Western tourists to visit. As for whether the country is developing and how the people's life is, it does not matter to them.


Therefore, the Lao government has placed the hope of building a railway on China. If the railway is built, it will be a great gospel for the poor Lao people and life will improve.




Once the China-Taiwan Railway is established, it will help promote economic and trade integration between China and ASEAN countries and accelerate the economic integration pattern in Southeast Asia, so that Laos can be included in the track of an outward-developing international economy.


In recent years, as China's investment in Laos has increased, the country has become the country with the highest growth rate in East Asia and the Pacific.


In March 2017, the US Forbes website published a column by Ralph Jennings, commenting that the World Bank expects the five countries with the fastest economic growth in East Asia and the Pacific, the first in Laos.