It’s hardly surprising that Laos is under China’s sway.
The former is a mountainous nation of 7 million people, mostly farmers, with an economy smaller than that of Mobile, Alabama. It sits next to a superpower soon to possess the largest economy in human history.
In the past decade or so, China, via its vast network of state-run companies, has brought a development blitz to Laos. Think highways and train lines, gold mines and rubber plantations, and hydropower dams tapping the flow of the Mekong River.