No End In Sight for Trucks in Laos Stranded at Chinese Border

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Trucks remain stranded at the Boten border with China in Luang Namtha
Thousands of trucks remain stranded at the Boten border with China in Luang Namtha

Authorities in Luang Namtha Province are scrambling to assist thousands of trucks and other vehicles stranded at the border with China in Boten.

A large number of freight trucks, as well as Chinese nationals attempting to return to China from Laos, remain stranded at the Boten-Mohan border, Lao Youth Radio reports.

During an official visit to Luang Namtha Province by President Thongloun Sisoulith last week, Provincial Governor Khamlay Sipaseuth said that authorities have made numerous attempts to address the issue.

President Thongloun Sisoulith made an offiical visit to Luang Namtha Province on 7 February.
President Thongloun Sisoulith greeted by officials at Luang Namtha Station on 7 February.

Governor Khamlay said that due to the significant number of Covid-19 cases recorded in Laos, China has tightened entry restrictions for both private and freight or transportation vehicles.

“Chinese authorities are only allowing around 150 to 200 vehicles to cross into China per day, causing massive delays,” said Governor Khamlay.

“Authorities in Luang Namtha have made the issue known to Chinese authorities, and have been able to make some headway,” he said.

Meanwhile, during his visit to the province, President Thongloun urged officials in Luang Namtha to work harder to address congestion along the Boten border.

He said that he plans to meet with the prime minister to discuss short and long-term solutions, emphasizing that the matter must be resolved and that the situation must not be prolonged.

Thousands of trucks have been stuck in Luang Namtha since late last year, with the province temporarily banning entry to vehicles in order to try to cope with the backlog.