Laos tells Belt and Road story in rock 'n' roll

By Wang Qingyun | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-03 07:33

A rock tune in the Laotian language has become an unconventional, attention-grabbing way to tell people about the benefits of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The music video of the song, called yidaiyilu, or Belt and Road, has been posted and shared on a number of WeChat and weibo accounts.

The song, performed by a Laotian musician and singer, calls the Belt and Road Initiative a "win-win" project and expresses Laos' strategy to go from being a "landlocked" to "land-linked" country with the initiative's help.

Vilayphone Vongphachanh, who wrote the lyrics and helped write the music, has spent about six years working in China. He is a host and editor of programs in Lao at China Radio International.

The 52-year-old told China Daily that introducing the Belt and Road Initiative through the song is an easy-to-understand way to help increase the Laotian people's interest in the initiative.

Vilayphone first heard about the initiative in 2013, when President Xi Jinping visited Kazakhstan, he said on Tuesday.

In a speech during that visit, Xi called for countries to work together to construct the Silk Road Economic Belt.

Vilayphone said he decided to write the song in 2015 after learning more about the initiative through his work. The song was finished in 2016, which marked the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Laos.

Speaking of the rock format, he explained that such a lively, rhythmic style fits the content and theme of the song, which is "international" and "grand".

The cooperation between China and Laos to promote the initiative benefits both countries, Vilayphone said.

China and Laos signed a nonbinding agreement in September on formulating plans for promoting cooperation on the initiative.

"The initiative just fits Laos' own strategy, which is to transform itself from a landlocked country into a 'land-linked' one," Vilayphone said.

He pointed out that the construction of a railway linking Yunnan province and Laotian capital Vientiane helps enhance interconnectivity between the two countries, and is a "very important" project of bilateral cooperation under the initiative.

The governments of the two countries signed a cooperation deal in November 2015 and officially kicked off the 400-kilometer railway project.

Zhao Xiaohong, deputy head of China Radio International's Lao language department, said the song has been broadcast many times on the department's Lao programs. The music video has been released ahead of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

The forum, to be held in Beijing on May 14 and 15, is expected to attract more than 1,200 people from around the world.

(China Daily 05/03/2017 page1)

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