A new road route linking Kunming, Simao and Jinghong in Yunnan province and Vientiane in Laos was opened for freight and passenger transport at the beginning of May, Xinhua reported. The distance by road from Kunming to Vientiane is 1,600km, of which 900km is within Chinese territory. The Chinese government has committed to complete work on upgrading this road by 2006. Before the new route was opened, road links between the two countries were limited to routes between Jinghong and neighbouring provinces in Laos.
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