go to top
Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, Dec. 1, 2016 (Pool photo via AP).

China’s Influence Steadily Grows in Laos, Weathering Political Change

Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017

When Laos’ National Assembly ratified the appointment of a new president and prime minister to lead the closed, one-party communist state in early 2016, most analysts viewed the political changes in Vientiane as signaling a shift away from its much larger and influential neighbor, China. Laos, it seemed, was making a concerted attempt to balance relations more equally with its other neighbors.

Yet two years on, China’s influence in its impoverished southern neighbor has only grown. A controversial railway project funded by Beijing is moving forward, and President Xi Jinping made a high-profile state visit in November, touting Laos as a lynchpin in China’s massive “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure initiative. ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Get unlimited access to must-read news, analysis and opinion from top experts. Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 9,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.

YES, I want to subscribe now.