Published Date : Sep 22, 2015
In China, the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative has prompted construction of a rail network, which will connect the country with Southeast Asia. This is on account of the agreement that China has been successful to secure with Thailand and Laos to construct a rail network that will connect the three countries.
As commented by the deputy prime minister of Thailand, Tanasak Patimapragorn during a visit to the exposition of China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at Nanning located in southern China. The deputy prime minister stated that China and Thailand are working closely in order to confirm the agreement of the planned China-Thailand railway, construction on which is slated to begin by the year end.
The remarks are a result of decade of negotiations happening between the two countries for the rail project, which the deputy prime minister of Thailand asserted as a vital path for cargo and passenger transportation.
Thailand’s deputy prime minister applauded China’s initiative Belt and Road, which appears to be beneficial for the countries in the agreement. He said that the initiative will not only reinforce cooperation between ASEAN members and China, but will benefit trade and economic activities among other ASEAN members along the route.
In another development, talks between Laos and China are in progress to construct a rail link between the two countries and the China-Thailand railway is also settled.
As reported by the Beijing Youth Daily, other than the railway projects, China is actively seeking railway projects in other countries of Southeast Asia, which include Malaysia and Singapore.
As per China’s long-term and mid-term planning for building a regional rail network also consists of railways to be constructed through Myanmar, Vietnam, to start at Kunming which is the capital of Yunnan province in China.
However, there are competitors trying to bid rail projects in China, mainly being Japan.