Laos’ China-made railway brings connection at a cost

A US$6 billion railway ties the fate of Laos, one of Asia’s poorest countries, to China’s, the world’s second-biggest economy. The project is integral to the plans of Laos’ communist leadership to plug Southeast Asia’s only landlocked country into the global economy and fast track its seven million people out of poverty. But amid signs of progress, thousands of people have been displaced and forests have been cleared to make way for environmentally destructive industries.