Thailand, Laos, China to sign pact on high-speed railway

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Thailand, Laos, China To Sign Pact On High-speed Railway

Thailand has agreed to sign a memorandum of cooperation with China and Laos for a rail link aimed at connecting the three countries when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha visits Beijing this week for the second Belt and Road Forum, the Thai foreign ministry said.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith will sign the pact with his Laotian counterpart Bounchanh Sinthavong and China’s vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Hu Zucai on April 25 on the sideline of the forum. The memorandum will detail the envisaged railway network from Kunming in southern China via Laos to Thailand. The pact will also cover the construction of a new bridge across the Mekong river linking the Laotian capital with Thailand’s Nong Khai province.

China is currently building a 400-kilometer railway track from the China-Laos border to the Laotian capital Vientiane. The construction is almost half-complete and on track to be in service by December 2021. Construction for that project began four years ago.

Thailand officially kicked off its high-speed railway project in December 2017 with a 3.5-kilometer segment of the rail in the northeast province of Nakhon Ratchasima. The Thai government has approved a $5.8 billion budget for the first phase of the 253-kilometer railway linking Nakhon Ratchasima with Bangkok. The second phase linking Nakhon Ratchasima to Laos is awaiting approval.

Those tracks will be part of China’s planned 3,000-kilometer pan-Asian railway network under its Belt and Road initiative. Rail lines from China will extend farther south all the way to the tip of the Malay Peninsula, linking Beijing to Singapore.

The Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature policy, is an estimated $1-trillion+ infrastructure project that stretches across 70 countries. It aims to weave a network of railways, ports and bridges, linking China with Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia.

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Thailand has agreed to sign a memorandum of cooperation with China and Laos for a rail link aimed at connecting the three countries when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha visits Beijing this week for the second Belt and Road Forum, the Thai foreign ministry said. Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith will sign the pact with his Laotian counterpart Bounchanh Sinthavong and China’s vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Hu Zucai on April 25 on the sideline of the forum. The memorandum will detail the envisaged railway network from Kunming in southern China via Laos to Thailand. The pact will...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand, Laos, China To Sign Pact On High-speed Railway

Thailand has agreed to sign a memorandum of cooperation with China and Laos for a rail link aimed at connecting the three countries when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha visits Beijing this week for the second Belt and Road Forum, the Thai foreign ministry said.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith will sign the pact with his Laotian counterpart Bounchanh Sinthavong and China’s vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Hu Zucai on April 25 on the sideline of the forum. The memorandum will detail the envisaged railway network from Kunming in southern China via Laos to Thailand. The pact will also cover the construction of a new bridge across the Mekong river linking the Laotian capital with Thailand’s Nong Khai province.

China is currently building a 400-kilometer railway track from the China-Laos border to the Laotian capital Vientiane. The construction is almost half-complete and on track to be in service by December 2021. Construction for that project began four years ago.

Thailand officially kicked off its high-speed railway project in December 2017 with a 3.5-kilometer segment of the rail in the northeast province of Nakhon Ratchasima. The Thai government has approved a $5.8 billion budget for the first phase of the 253-kilometer railway linking Nakhon Ratchasima with Bangkok. The second phase linking Nakhon Ratchasima to Laos is awaiting approval.

Those tracks will be part of China’s planned 3,000-kilometer pan-Asian railway network under its Belt and Road initiative. Rail lines from China will extend farther south all the way to the tip of the Malay Peninsula, linking Beijing to Singapore.

The Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature policy, is an estimated $1-trillion+ infrastructure project that stretches across 70 countries. It aims to weave a network of railways, ports and bridges, linking China with Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia.

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