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China’s Belt and Road now knocks on Thailand’s door to the north but is the kingdom on board?


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In mid-January, the Thai cabinet gave the go-ahead for an expanded rail service into Laos and the construction of a new bridge from Nong Khai across the Mekong River. It comes after the State Railway of Thailand announced plans, last September, to upgrade its rail depot and facilities at the border station. All of this is happening as Thai traders grumble about restricted access to China for Thai fruit and produce while Chinese imports flood into markets in northern Thailand. At the same time, Bangkok must run the gauntlet between efforts to successfully exploit better rail connectivity with China, the huge cost of high-speed rail links and making sure the effects of the increased links with the expanding Chinese economy are positive in the longer term for the kingdom.

 

by Joseph O' Connor

 

The high-speed rail link for which a contract was signed between the State Railway of Thailand and four Chinese firms on March 29th 2021 is understood to be proceeding at a slow pace with only 4% of the project as yet complete extending from Nakhon Ratchasima. There had been uncertainty about the second phase of the proposed high-speed rail link being pushed by China linking Nakhon Ratchasima with Nong Khai although Thai planners are now reported to have prepared their own blueprint. In December, Thai Minister of Transport, Saksayam Chidchob reaffirmed Thailand’s commitment to the Thai Chinese high-speed rail link and promised that the second line, linking Bangkok with Nong Khai by hi-speed rail, would be operational by 2028. Thailand already operates an existing rail service to Nong Khai which is linked to Bangkok.

 

After years of rhetoric, negotiations and the signing of accords, the Chinese Belt and Road initiative came knocking on Thailand’s door last December with the opening of the Boten to Vientiane high-speed rail link which has suddenly opened up northern Thailand to China’s southern provinces. While Thai authorities are working to embrace the opportunity the initiative has to offer, there are already signs that the reality on the ground will, at the same time, present challenges for Thailand.

 

China’s Belt and Road initiative came to life in northeastern Thailand last December when the rail link from Boten in Laos near its border with Yunnan in China and the capital Vientiane was inaugurated on the 3rd December 2021.

 

Full story: https://www.thaiexaminer.com/thai-news-foreigners/2022/01/27/china-belt-and-road-at-thailand-door/

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Examiner 2022-01-28
 

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Is the Kingdom on board they got their heads up their ass so far even if it was built already they wouldn't ever know it. If the CCP say jump they wouldnt even ask how high? 🤣

Edited by thailand49
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13 hours ago, Edwin Cameron said:

Thailand be warned, they will lie,cheat and steal to get what they want, Thailand should be able to build it without the Chinese. DON'T TRUST THE CHINESE..!

Much the same as the UK and USA then.

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On 1/28/2022 at 2:46 PM, Isaan sailor said:

And just how successful is this high speed rail connection for Laos, I wonder?

I like the way they call it high speed. I think top speed is about 100 kph. Then drops to 30 kph in cities.

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2 hours ago, Knocker33 said:

I like the way they call it high speed. I think top speed is about 100 kph. Then drops to 30 kph in cities.

Top speed is 160 kph. When you go from no speed at all for Laos to 160 kph it does feel as very high speed. I think the difficult terrain would make higher speed not financially feasible.

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On 1/28/2022 at 2:46 PM, Isaan sailor said:

And just how successful is this high speed rail connection for Laos, I wonder?

Would be difficult to achieve high profitability without traffic from Thailand and even Malaysia passing. However Laos can benefit indirectly with free trade zones established to use the rail for exports. The Yunnan province in China is 42 millions with way higher purchasing power than the Lao, so there are opportunities if cards are played properly.... corruption would be a problem.

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