Published on : Tuesday, July 11, 2017
On Tuesday, the cabinet of Thailand approved the constriction of the first phase of a railway project worth $5.5 billion with an aim to connect the eastern seaboard with southern China via the landlocked region of Laos.
The project is actually a part of infrastructure drive by Beijing.
Prayuth Chan-ocha, Prime Minister of Thailand leading the Thai ruling party leveraged an executive order last month to make way for this massive project that had so far been upset by random delays and also certain negotiations on loan terms.
The first phase of this railway project involves the construction of six railway stations on a 250-km high-speed line that links the Thai capital of Bangkok and the northeastern province of Nakorn Ratchasima.
Korbsak Pootrakool who is the vice-minister at the Prime Minister’s Office said that this project is a part of the development of a regional transport network, particularly the ‘One Belt Road’ initiative of China that would link Asia, Europe and Southeast Asia together.
This railway link is also a part of Beijing’s local infrastructure driven to link the Chinese cities with the entire region of Southeast Asia and this also includes the industrial zones of Thailand as well as its eastern deep sea port.
Certain analysts feel that this railway project forma pivotal point of China-Thailand relations that seem to have strengthened after a 2014 coup by the Thai army.
The government of Thailand has mentioned that Thai firms would be accountable for the creation and China would be responsible for the signal systems, technical training and railway technology. Prayuth said that Chinese technology would be utilized in the construction of this project.