Beijing: The first highway linking China`s southwest with Vietnam will open for traffic next year, local authorities said on Sunday.
The 600-km journey from Kunming, provincial capital of Yunnan, to Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, will be reduced to six to seven hours from 12-plus hours, said the provincial communication department of Yunnan.
China and Vietnam will be connected by highway once construction on a 250-km expressway is finished in Vietnam, and linking the countries via highway will greatly reduce transportation costs and boost the regional economy, state news agency Xinhua reported.
China and Vietnam started upgrading local expressways and roads to connect the cross-border highway in 2008 and 2009, respectively, the department said.
The highway is part of Yunnan`s Bridgehead Strategy, which aims to build a social and economic corridor toward South Asia and Southeast Asia. The mountainous province borders Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.
Three other cross-border highways in Yunnan leading to Thailand, Myanmar and India are also under construction, the report said.