In Laos, A Chinese-Funded Railway Sparks Hope For Growth — And Fears Of Debt | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


In Laos, A Chinese-Funded Railway Sparks Hope For Growth — And Fears Of Debt

In Southeast Asia's only landlocked country, the Mekong River is a lifeline. From a slow boat heading up the river in Laos, you'll see fishermen working in their boats, riverside farms where bananas grow, and domesticated buffalo lazing. Occasionally a ferry chugs by. From time to time, steps leading to a riverside village become visible on the banks through the foliage. The wind is swift, and the brown fresh water laps up onto the side of the boat.

Just over 9 miles north of Luang Prabang, a startling aberration appears: five giant concrete pylons rising out of the water.

Red cranes top each of the pylons. A bridge is being built here. On either bank, the row of pylons continues until it almost hits the mountainsides, with scaffolding and other heavy construction equipment scattered below.

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