Athisack Ratanavong, or more popularly known as ‘Sack Vong Cells’, is recognized in Laos as being a talented rock musician and singer for his work at Indee Records. However, the Lao national has recently caught the attention of people in China with his soft rock track, “Yidaiyilu”, the Chinese term for the Belt and Road Initiative, that is now a trending song on Chinese social media, despite it being performed in Lao.
As previously reported by The Laotian Times, the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative is a crucial part of China’s development strategy and was initially proposed in 2013. The aim of the initiative is to deepen economic cooperation with countries in Asia, Europe and Africa, focusing on developing a trade and infrastructure network that connects the three continents.
In collaboration with journalist-turned-songwriter, Vilayphone Vongphachanh, the two managed to capture the significance of the Belt and Road concept in simple words and a catchy tune. Key phrases such as, “mutual benefits”, “win-win results” and “enhancing connectivity across nations” are a few of the lyrics that keep the song straightforward for the listener.
Working as a host and program editor in the Lao service at China Radio International, Vilayphone has resided in China for six years, and was inspired to write the song based on his knowledge about the Belt and Road Initiative through his work. He explained that the song was produced in 2016 to mark the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Laos, but only just recently gained traction after a music video was produced.
The video has been released ahead of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which is being held in Beijing on May 14 and 15.