China is trying to connect Southeast Asia by high-speed rail. Here’s how that’s going


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CNN — Imagine jumping on a train in southwestern China, traveling some 2,000 miles and arriving in Singapore – less than 30 hours later. That’s the scenario China is envisioning for Southeast Asia as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a vast overseas infrastructure development program that launched more than a decade ago. In 2021, the semi-high-speed Laos-China Railway opened to passengers, connecting the southwestern Chinese commercial hub of Kunming to the Laotian capital of Vientiane – a roughly 10-hour journey spanning some 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) that officials claim has boosted numbers of overland Chinese travelers while...