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The Chinese population in Laos has always been small when compared to the impressive size of Chinese communities in other parts of Southeast Asia. It seems that a lack of access to the sea, the mountainous terrain and the jungle have made this country an unlikely area for the development of commerce, thus attracting fewer Chinese traders than its immediate neighbours Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. In spite of its small size, the Chinese community in Laos possesses, nevertheless, its own history and identity, and holds a special position within modern Lao society.
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©John Lander
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The Chinese population in Laos has always been small when compared to the impressive size of Chinese communities in other parts of Southeast Asia. It seems that a lack of access to the sea, the mountainous terrain and the jungle have made this country an unlikely area for the development of commerce, thus attracting fewer Chinese traders than its immediate neighbours Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. In spite of its small size, the Chinese community in Laos possesses, nevertheless, its own history and identity, and holds a special position within modern Lao society.