Mountainous, landlocked republic in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma to the northwest, China to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west. Its capital and largest city is Vientiane.
Note: Part of French Indochina from 1893 to 1949, it was granted full sovereignty in 1954.
Note: Civil war among communist and noncommunist factions in the 1950s and 1960s attracted extensive covert aid from the Soviet Union, China, and the United States.
Note: During the Vietnam War, Vietnamese communists established the Ho Chi Minh Trail through the remote mountains of Laos to channel troops and supplies from North Vietnam to South Vietnam.
Note: The communist Pathet Lao, with long-standing close ties to the Vietnamese communists, have been in power since 1975.