The Laos-China Railway was officially launched on the 3rd December 2021 during a ceremony presided over by Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith and Chinese President Xi Jinping. President Xi Jinping, in a broadcast from Beijing, while a train stood ready to depart from Xishuangbanna Railway Station in Kunming, declared: “On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Laos and China, I am honored, together with Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith, to officially open this railway. I offer my full congratulations on behalf of the people and the Communist Party of China.” President Xi said that following the opening of the Laos-China Railway, connecting China from Kunming to Laos in Vientiane Capital, the “mountains are no longer high, and the roads are no longer lengthy.” He said that from both sides must work together to build the railway into a path to bring prosperity to both nations. Following remarks by both presidents, trains simultaneously departed from Vientiane Station and Kunming Station, officially launching the Laos-China Railway. Construction of the historic 409-kilometer railway began in 2016 and was conducted in two stages. The first stage connected Luang Namtha to Vientiane Capital, while the second stage saw the final 17 kilometers from Vientiane Capital to Thannaleng. The railway includes 33 stations, with 12 passengers stations and 20 cargo stations, while five major stations will be used as stops for express services. The railway includes 198 kilometers of tunnels and traverses 62 kilometers of bridges with an operating speed of 160 kilometers per hour. There are two Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains that will be in service along the railway, as well as standard train services for passengers and cargo. Current train fares range from: Vientiane to the China border, ordinary train at 100km/h: 22$ Vientiane to the China border, EMU first-class train at 160km/h: 49$