China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand


Map showing proposed Kra Isthmus Canal location in Thailand

Map showing proposed Kra Isthmus Canal location in Thailand

The following article was translated from Chinese media:

The trade route to the Indian Ocean through the Malacca Strait has the problems of pirates, shipwrecks, haze, sediment and shoals.

Its rate of accidents is twice as high as the Suez Canal and four times higher than the Panama Canal.

An alternative shorter route is to build a canal at Kra Isthmus, Thailand. It will save shipment costs and time as the route is shortened by 1,000 km.

Due to close trade relations between China and ASEAN for years, their bilateral trade rose from $54.8 billion in 2002 to $443.6 billion in 2013. In the same period, mutual investment grew four times to an accumulated total of $100 billion.

The close relations and accumulated wealth due to economic and trade growth make people believe that the construction of Kra Isthmus is affordable now.

China’s huge state-owned LiuGong Machinery Co. Ltd and XCMG, and private Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd have taken the lead to set up a preparations group for the construction of Kra Isthmus Canal.

The 100 km artificial link to the Indian Ocean will benefit not only China and ASEAN, but also Japan and other countries’ world trade.

See update 17.05.2015 – China announces strategically important Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand

Source: huanqiu.com “Commencement of the Kra Isthmus Canal project: China takes the lead in building a route shorter than Malacca Strait” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese) and Wikipedia “Strait of Malacca”
 


Categories: Trade & Investment

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

44 replies

  1. Thailand will finally allow the formation of the Pattani Sultanate and ceased control over Southern Thailand if that was to happen. It will also alienate the Thai Kingdom from its southern neighbours like Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia whose economies it will adversely affect. The Chinese border will be rewritten to cover most of South East Asia, including Thailand threatening Western Interest on the Malacca Straight and the region. It might even provoke a proxy war between the US and its allies with those nations in the region who are already in China’s sphere of influence. The Scenario goes on and on and On untill……….. Welcome World War III.

    Like

  2. “China’s huge state-owned LiuGong Machinery Co. Ltd and XCMG, and private Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd have taken the lead to set up a preparations group for the construction of Kra Isthmus Canal.”

    I don’t read Chinese but missing from this summarised English translation is mention of Thailand actually being seriously interested right now to proceed with construction of the Kra Isthmus canal, which has been talked about for decades but no action.

    It would help if China Daily Mail would be clear on this point.

    Like

    • The report only mentioned that Thailand had a plan to build the canal but lacked funds in its history, but said nothing about its attitude now. However, due to Thai political instability, I did not include the information in the summary. Thai governments’ desires are in fact irrelevant. The risk remains even if current Thai government is anxious to have the canal built to be benefited from it.

      Like

    • The Thais understand that to let China in their country to build a huge project would be a big mistake. If China was allowed to build it that would mean China would defend their control of that project (and the area around it) by using the excuse of national security. Thailand was never colonized because they understood this. Thais (like most Asians/Africans/Arabs) would sell their mother for enough money but they understand the dangers of letting China in. The Thais will have the Chinese build many smaller projects that are of little value to the Chinese thus little danger to an invasion by China.

      Like

      • I don’t know what lofty and noble race you belong to to make you believe you are qualified to look down on most Asians, Africans and Arabs and regard them as so mean. The fact is most Asians, Africans and Arabs are not so mean as are willing to sell their mothers. On the contrary, lots of them have been making their nationes rich when there are good governments. As a result, their nationes are respected as rising emerging economies. Those whose governments are not able to do so, are still willing to defend their dignity, culture and values bravely so that the richest nation that regards itself as the only superpower cannot conquer them. That is the case with Iraq, Afghnistan, etc.
        I hope that Thais can have a stable political situation to enable it to utilize foreign investment in building the canal. It can use its land as 51% of the investment in the project and remain in control of the canal to make a lot of money. As for where the 49% will come from, if the political situation in Thailand is acceptable, lots of foreign capital will be interested in the project instead of only the Chinese one.

        Like

      • Reed: “The Thais understand that to let China in their country to build a huge project would be a big mistake.” Reed, did you miss this part of the article?

        [Due to close trade relations between China and ASEAN for years, their bilateral trade rose from $54.8 billion in 2002 to $443.6 billion in 2013. In the same period, mutual investment grew four times to an accumulated total of $100 billion.]

        Not to put too fine a point on it, but China is already the Big Dog in this region, and one that all the little dogs grow quiet when it barks. It just is mature enough to realize that only scares the little dogs, so it almost always delivers it’s message softly, quietly. Like the way they have siphoned off the West’s gold. And, they have made ASEAN nations very wealthy through trade. That usually tends to attract nations, not repel them.

        It’s because China, unlike the US, EU and NATO bullies, uses diplomacy and investment to make deals mutually beneficial instead of subterfuge, assassinations, propaganda, violence and fascism. If China coveted any nation in S.E. Asia, they could take it tomorrow. They are not showing any inclination that way for thousands of years.

        Which apparently for some commenters here is a “suspicious” endeavor.

        If Thailand will benefit, they will install a canal. From the looks of it, I’d suggest it would benefit Thailand. They have domestic petroleum to re-fuel ships, mostly good shipping weather, typhoon-free, and have plenty manufactured goods of their own they could load on passing ships from China to points West.

        But, it is for Thai to decide, none other. Maybe the local Thai oppose such a project, and as the Thai say “up to you.” Their choice. I understand that (self-determination) is contrary to official US fascist policy, but there it is.

        Like

  3. A canal through the Kra Isthmus, which would shorten shipping times around Asia, was suggested as early as 1677. The Thai King Narai the Great asked the French engineer de Lamar to survey the possibility of building a waterway to connect Songkhla with Marid (now Myanmar), but the idea was discarded as impractical with the technology of that time. In 1793, the idea resurfaced; the younger brother of King Chakri (Rama I) suggested it would make it easier to protect the western coast with military ships. In the early 19th century, the British East India Company became interested in a canal. After Burma became a British colony in 1863 with Victoria Point opposite the Kra estuary as its southernmost point, an exploration was undertaken, again with negative result. In 1882, the constructor of the Suez canal, Ferdinand de Lesseps, visited the area, but wasn’t allowed to investigate in detail by the Thai king. In 1897, Thailand and the British empire agreed not to build a canal there, to protect the regional dominance of the harbour of Singapore.

    Like

  4. Farang: You misunderstand. The Thais understand how the Chinese operate and will not allow such a huge project that would be strategically important to the Chinese to be built on Thai territory. Maybe you are not aware of the recent events in the South China Sea (the Thais are very aware) and the multiple claims the Chinese have made on other countries territory. Sounds like the Chinese have become quite the bullies recently. And lets not forget Tibet shall we? Sounds like you know very little about the Chinese and Thais with little knowledge of Chinese history of the past 50 years or so. Good luck with your trade theory as there is much more involved than that, and kudos to the Thais for understanding this.

    Like

    • Are you the policy maker in the Thai Royal Court? Are you the king of Thailand? Are you the Thai Prime Minister? Are you even a Thai? Then why talk?

      Like

      • Lifejourney: What an incredibly stupid reply. Sounds like you have just started on your ‘life journey’ so I suggest you use your ears a bit more and your mouth a bit less.

        Like

  5. I’m quite sure that the general consensus in Thailand agrees with this idea simply because it is a big boost to the economy and development of Thailand (equivalent of having oil that you will never use it up). But the reasons why it is not happening is because of political gridlock, corruption and bribery going on among interest groups. Of course, there is an issue of segregationist group in the far south that we are aware of but it is way down to the south. I don’t think it would change anything since there are many other provinces below the canal plan that have no problem and they are still majority in that lower part.

    Thus, I believe we actually need the outside force like China and Japan to make it happen both regarding investment and political reasons. Relying on Thai government alone, they are easily bribed (which had happened before).

    Moreover, I’d like to clarify for people who believe that this project is a zero-sum game that Thailand will get tax fee instead of Singapore or Malaysia. This is not accurate since reducing the cost of transportation does make the real cost and time. It makes product cheaper and the supply will be higher for the export. Everybody wins when you can make a shortcut instead of making a detour. It’s good for the world trade and welfare of most countries who buy products by shipment crossing Asia.

    Like

  6. Cam Ranh Bay is a perfect location for US, Japan, and Russia to monitor chinese illegal marine activities.

    Like

  7. Is Panama and Suez really developed after the construction of a canal???

    Like

  8. Is this canal a good project for Thailand?
    —– ลิ๊งค์รองเท้าแตะราคาส่ง URL: http://www.wattajuk.com/shop/th-251-mysandalsblog-index-article_detail-art-view93.html

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Jim’s Mailbox :: Jim Sinclair's Mineset
  2. China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand
  3. Stiri scurte: 24.03.2014 | George Valah Blog
  4. Windows into Singapore: juxtapositions of time | The Long and Winding Road
  5. those in shipping industry, - www.hardwarezone.com.sg
  6. จีนสนใจลงทุนขุดคลอง ‘คอคอดกระ’ ตั้งคณะทำงานแล้ว | Siam Intelligence
  7. Breaking News – Thailand – China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal « living in the ‘Land of Smiles’
  8. Is this the end of PSA and Singapore shipping industry? - www.hardwarezone.com.sg
  9. Making India the Trade and Transportation Hub of Asia Europe and Africa | Narendra Modi
  10. China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand
  11. Anyone knows what happen to the Kra Canal that China plans to build? - www.hardwarezone.com.sg
  12. China to build 18 naval bases in Indian Ocean | China Daily Mail
  13. China building two aircraft carriers before 2017, as part of plan to infiltrate Indian Ocean | China Daily Mail
  14. CHINA: Proposal to Build an Asain Version of the Panama Canal /  The Ave
  15. China announces strategically important Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand | China Daily Mail
  16. Do You Think SG Economy will Collapse due to Kra Canal? - Page 4 - www.hardwarezone.com.sg
  17. China is building the most extensive global commercial-military empire in history - Quartz
  18. China is building the most extensive global commercial-military empire in history – Quartz | memoryBase
  19. How China Is Building the Biggest Commercial-Military Empire in History | Global Geopolitics
  20. China is building the most extensive global commercial-military empire in history | International Reaction
  21. China is building the most extensive global commercial-military empire in history | Peace and Freedom
  22. China concerned that India shows no clear interest in the New Silk Road initiative | China Daily Mail
  23. How China Is Building the Biggest Commercial-Military Empire in History | Thai Military and Asian Region

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: