Construction of Pan-Asian railway in SE Asia restarts due to China’s Silk Road initiative

Chinese High Speed Train

Chinese High Speed Train

The following is based on a translation from Chinese media:

CCTV says in its report today that there has been renewed effort by the Chinese government to restart the 10-year idle Pan-Asia Railway Network Agreement, thanks to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.

One Belt, One Road is a Chinese framework for organising multinational economic development through two component plans, the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and the oceangoing “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR).

The initiative was unveiled by President Xi Jinping in major announcements in September and October 2013 when plans for the SREB and MSR were revealed.

The Pan-Asian Railway is the South East Asian portion of the SREB. It contains east, middle and west lines that all start from Kunming and go respectively through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, merging at Thailand’s Bangkok. It finally go through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to its final destination Singapore.

China is building the 7-km Baofeng tunnel on the Yunnan-Yuxi Railway, the Chinese part of the network.

Other countries are speeding up the construction of the railways outside China. Laos regards the section in it as a priority project in its eighth five-year plan.

China and Thailand entered into a contract for the China-Thailand Railway at the end of 2014 and construction of the railway will begin later this year. When the railway opens to traffic, Bangkok will be an important hub of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road.

China has formulated and implemented its national standards for high-speed rails, which will provide the standards for connection of the various countries’ railways.

Pan-Asian Railway

Pan-Asian Railway

Source: CCTV “One Belt, One Road joint construction for prosperity: speeding up the construction of Pan-Asian Railway for connection of ‘One Belt, One Road’” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report I Chinese)


Categories: Trade & Investment

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