LAOS (lä'ōs), a territory in the Indo-China peninsula, surrounded by the Shan states Annam, Tonking, and the Chinese province of Yunnan; area, estimated, 91,000 square miles; pop. est. 1,500,000; the soil is fertile, producing rice, cotton, tobacco, and fruits, and bearing teak forests; gold, tin, lead, and precious stones are found. Has been under French protectorate since 1892. Laos was the subject of four political agreements, the last in 1907 when the territory on the W. side of Nuking was partly restored to Siam.