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Beijing Foreign Affairs Office
2022-02-22  |  

[Overview] Vientiane is the capital city and the political, economic and transportation center of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. The city sits in central Laos on a plain in the valley of the Mekong and on the northern bank of the middle reaches of the river, covering an area of 3,920 square kilometers and has a population of about 900,000.

[Politics] Vientiane is Laos' only municipality directly under the central government, with nine districts under its jurisdiction. Anouphab Tounalom, the incumbent Vientiane Party Secretary and President of the Vientiane People's Council, was elected in February 2021. The incumbent mayor of Vientiane, Atsaphangthong Siphandone took office in April 2021.

[Economy] As the national economic center, Vientiane has seen rapid industrial development in recent years and built multiple industrial parks, with more than 2,800 enterprises among which the most prominent ones are food processors. A large number of shopping centers and department stores have been built in the city and road infrastructure has been improving.

[Culture and Education] As the educational center of Laos, Vientiane is home to several renowned universities such as the National University of Laos. Temples and pagodas are everywhere across the city. In addition to new ones, there are 34 ancient temples standing as valuable evidence of the long history and rich culture of the country. The most famous one is Pha That Luang, which is situated five kilometers north of the city proper, which is a masterpiece that dates back to the time of the Kingdom of Lan Xang.

[Relations with Beijing] Beijing and Vientiane officially became sister cities on April 24, 2015. The two cities have had friendly exchanges and cooperation between political advisory bodies and in such areas as municipal administration.

Relations between Political Advisory Bodies: In December 2017, the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Vientiane Front for National Construction signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation.

City Administration: In October 2017, the Beijing-Vientiane sister-city workshop on water environment management was held in Beijing. It helped promote Beijing's water-related technical services and infrastructure construction capabilities "going global". In the past two years, the Vientiane Government has sent officials to participate in the Urban Planning Workshop organized by Beijing as a sister city program under the Belt and Road Initiative.