chapter
Introduction
Pages 10

This chapter discusses the geography of Laos and basic facts about its people. The border extended east from the trijunction of Laos, China, and Burma in the Mekong River to the trijunction of the boundaries among Laos, China, and Vietnam. The authorities agreed that the border between Laos and China was sharper than with other neighbors with the possible exception of the area of the Sinicized ethnic minority of Sipsong Panna. The gradual warming of relations between Laos and China during the 1990s was facilitated by the ease with which a process was instituted to demarcate the border with marker posts between the two countries as exactly as possible. French administration in Laos was continued under Japanese control during World War II, as it was in neighboring Vietnam and Cambodia. After World War II, France decided to reclaim its Asian empire just as Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States sought to regain their possessions lost to Japan.