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With Bridge Across Mekong, China Seeks Trade Route to Gulf of Thailand

Thursday, March 15, 2007

CHIANG KHONG, Thailand -- In the sleepy village of Chiang Khong on the muddy-brown banks of the mighty Mekong river, the young men are excited by talk of a bridge to link Thailand with Laos on the other side. The older population of mostly farmers and small traders are less enthused; they have heard it before.

But this time, a bridge to open up a forgotten corner of empty, jungle-covered hills on the edge of the Golden Triangle -- notorious in faraway countries for its opium-producing poppy cultivation -- might really happen. ...

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