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Interview: Overseas Chinese resident in Laos eyes new role as "overseas bridge"

By:Xinhua   Update:2017-05-18
Enjoying a bright sunset while standing in his own landmark five-star hotel and watching the Mekong River with Thailand on the other side, Yao Bin was thinking about the China-Laos railway that he had been waiting for for more than 10 years which is currently under construction.
Having made a name for himself in industry over the past 10 years, Permanent Vice Chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Laos and Chairman of Kritaphong Group Co., Ltd., Yao Bin has led the Kritaphong Group through the early stages of promoting the prospects including the socio-economic benefits of the China-Laos railway project.
"We were very excited when we heard that the two countries wanted to build a railway," Yao told Xinhua in an exclusive interview in Vientiane.
"Being overseas Chinese residents, we are the 'bridges' that help link the friendship between the two countries," he said, adding that in over 10 years of all-out efforts for the bilateral friendship between China and Laos, overseas Chinese residents like him have always been maximizing long-term exchanges between the two governments, to promote the early implementation of the China-Laos railway project.
Having worked in Laos since the early 1990s, Yao has witnessed the increased development of economic cooperation between China and Laos. From his first success of trading in Laos in 1990, Yao has expanded his business to include construction and engineering.
According to Yao, the China-Laos railway is a very important project for Laos, as to some extent it will contribute to turning Laos from a "land-locked" to "land-linked" country.
It will also boost the development of the southwest area of China and connect China with Thailand, thus establishing a large export platform. The China-Laos railway is also very good news for business people and Chinese people who have been staying long-term in Laos.
"As for Laos, the country is in need of large amounts of such kinds of investment. I think overseas Chinese people can be a new kind of 'bridge' to connect the Chinese resources with outside needs," Yao said.
The completion of the China-Laos railway will bring new roles for overseas Chinese and their roles as bridges will be raised to become "two-way bridges," he said.
The China-Laos railway has a total length of 414.332 km with over 62.7 percent of bridges and tunnels, linking Mohan-Boten border gate in northern Laos and capital Vientiane.