Laos during the Vietnam War
The Vietnamese and Lao governments will map out long-term orientations to collaborate for sustainable development of bilateral relations. Political Map of Vietnam showing Vietnam and the surrounding countries with in north, it has a long border with Laos and borders Cambodia in southwest. Relationships with Laos and Cambodia have traditionally been shaped by Laos, with a communist party long nurtured by the Vietnamese, entered the .. on its maps with nine dashes: a grand loop called the “cow's tongue” completely.
Througha succession of communist advances scattered the Royal Lao army, reducing it to barely a thousand men. An intensification of US bombing stalled some communist advances, but when the Americans ceased their bombing runs in Februarythe Pathet Lao — now bolstered by greater numbers and weaponry from Hanoi — began to expand.
Within weeks they held more territory than the government, which was confined to the capital Vientiane and the western border regions along the Mekong valley. A ceasefire was signed and, in Aprilanother coalition government formed. The royalists and the Pathet Lao enjoyed equal representation in this new government.
Between mid and earlyhowever, the Pathet Lao engaged in a creeping takeover of the national government. Fiercely independent, the Hmong saw both the Pathet Lao and the North Vietnamese as threats and readily agreed to join the US and Laotian government forces… By the CIA had raised and armed a force of over 10, Hmong tribesman in an effort to even the odds… Aided by devastating American air strikes, the Hmong and Royal Lao forces fought the communists to a standstill and the war in Laos proceeded as a bloody stalemate.
Now infiltrated by Pathet Lao officials and supporters, the government offered little meaningful resistance.
With the fall of Vientiane imminent, thousands of Americans, foreigners and royalist supporters fled across the border to Thailand. By August the Pathet Lao was in virtual control of the country. There were also recriminations against the ethnic Hmong, who sided with the royal government and the US during the civil war. Other parties and factions are banned. There is an elected legislature, the National Assembly, however, only LPRP members are permitted to stand as candidates and elections are probably rigged.
Economic development has been slower. The geophysical position of each of these countries therefore determines a great deal of their success at being able to have developed their international trade.
Indochina is changing; new road and rail routes have been developed and are opening up the interior regions. Ultimately, all these countries will benefit from the Singapore-China rail track, expected to be completed by Vietnam is starting work on upgrading its 1, kilometer line from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, while China is already underway with breaking ground on a spur from Yunnan Province to Laos, and has also agreed on a joint venture with Thailand to upgrade some of its rail tracks.
Talks are also underway to provide a route from Bangkok to the Myanmar port of Tavoy on the Indian Ocean. That will also traverse Laos and again provide much momentum to opening up Laos to international trade and import and export. As a rough rule of thumb, this makes Chinese labor at least double the cost of that in Indochina.
Not surprisingly, foreign investment is starting to pour into these countries, including from China.
Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam – Indochina and China Today
What may be surprising to many readers is that it is not China that dominates the region. That honor belongs to Thailand. China has in the past engaged in invasions and wars in the region, and its presence is still felt to be something of a strategic threat. Accordingly, it is Thailand that holds the balance of trade power within the region not altogether surprisingly, as it shares borders with both Laos and Cambodia, and does not have the aggressive history in the region that China has.
Michelin Vietnam Laos Cambodia Map # Michelin: omarcafini.info: Books
Of note also is the presence of the United States as a major trade partner within the region as well as the European Union, notably led by France as an ex-colonial power, Japan and nearby Singapore. It is this trade, combined with a marked improvement in rail and road infrastructure, that is expected to see GDP growth within Indochina maintain healthy levels.
Some work still needs to be done, especially in terms of developing tax treaties. Tax treaties are important, especially for the attraction of foreign direct investment as they limit the chances to be taxed in two locations for the same profit, and as they can also, dependent upon the agreement, be useful in lowering taxes in areas of international trade such as withholding taxes, taxes on royalties and even dividends.
Laos might have reached the same point of normalization in following Vietnam's economic and diplomatic change, but by moving ahead resolutely and responding to Thai and Chinese gestures, Laos broadened its range of donors, trading partners, and investors independent of Vietnam's attempts to accomplish the same goal.
Thus, Vietnam remained in the shadows as a mentor and emergency ally, and the tutelage of Laos shifted dramatically to development banks and international entrepreneurs. At a conference in Danang inaugurating the "East-West Economic Corridor" EWECVietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs predicted that the boom in trade and investment generated by the 1, km Burma-to-Vietnam corridor would render Danang an international hub of trade, finance, and industry.
Although the bridges, the state-of-the-art tunnel, and the all-weather road that knit Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam together have been built, initial hopes for a surge in investment and trade along the route remain unfulfilled. For a number of reasons, including the fact that the road traverses very undeveloped regions, not much has come to Vietnam via the EWEC except a modest number of Thai tourists.
While Laos' cheap land and labor are attracting Vietnamese resource-extraction firms, these firms are stymied by the same obstacles hindering other development along the EWEC. Poor harmonization of border procedures and opaque Laotian investment requirements -- not to mention the context of the lightly populated, poverty-stricken area traversed by the route -- conspire to make the EWEC more of rural road project than an economic corridor, according to Vietnamese Government GVN officials as well as Vietnamese and international investors.
While Danang officials acknowledge the EWEC's thus-far unfulfilled potential and appear willing to subsidize social and economic development along the Laotian portion of the corridor, they are also lobbying multilateral development banks to line up support for a more southerly "EWEC 2" that they claim would provide immediate benefits by connecting existing economic centers and following the route that trucks actually take.
The Vietnam-Laos relationship was the common invaluable treasure of the two nations and an important element ensuring the success of the revolutionary cause of each country, said a joint statement issued on 22 June in Vientiane, Laos.
The joint statement, which was released at the end of the three-day visit to Laos by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, noted that the Party, State and people of Vietnam and Laos affirmed the importance, strategic significance, as well as determination to maintain and promote the bilateral traditional friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation in the new stage.
Laos signed an agreement in to build a railway connecting Thailand and Vietnam, just after sealing plans for a rail link to China, in ventures that will cost a combined whopping U.
By linking the landlocked nation to its giant neighbor China and mainland Southeast Asia, officials say the high-speed rail network will help open up the impoverished and resource-starved nation to development. Thongsing Thammavong, the former president of the Lao parliament, was named successor to incumbent Bouasone Bouphavanh in a surprise announcement in December amid speculations of a leadership split between pro-China and pro-Vietnam camps within the dominant communist party.
The year-old Bouasone quit about six months before the end of his term and after more than four years of steering the Southeast Asian state. Laos' newly appointed prime minister was more pro-Vietnam than his predecessor but may have to contend with giant neighbor China's rapidly rising influence on his country.
In dissident groups called on the authorities in Laos to rescind a year-old bilateral treaty with Vietnam, claiming that Vietnamese soldiers remain in the country under the pact and should be expelled.
The treaty signed on July 18, provided for the stationing of Vietnamese army troops and advisers in Laos after the end of the Vietnam War. Representatives from Southeast Asia countries met in Laos in January to discuss development projects on the Mekong River. A key issue for the Mekong River Commission has been evaluating a planned hydropower dam in Laos that environmentalists worry could damage river ecosystems that millions of people downstream depend on.
During this weeks talks, representatives from Vietnam and Cambodia objected to how Laos carried out the consultation process before starting construction on the Xayaburi dam - the first to obstruct the main stem of the Mekong river. For all the hype about a "special relationship," the Lao-Vietnamese ties are a marriage of convenience, not love.
Politics forms its base, not economics or culture. The Lao are anxious to promote trade and investment from Vietnam, but after more than thirty years the economic links between the two are still frail. Officially Vietnam is Laos' fourth-largest investor, but in reality there is little to show for it except a handful of factories of questionable profitability and a new hydropower project, the MW Sekaman 3, now under construction in remote Sekong province.