China-Thailand rail deal will also benefit region

Updated 2017-07-13 11:00:40 China Daily
People walk at Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept 21, 2015.

People walk at Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept 21, 2015.

There's no gain without pain, as the saying goes, and that's certainly been true of the China-Thailand high-speed railway, which has found its way strewn with obstacles before the first phase finally got the green light to go ahead on Tuesday.

After years of delay, Thailand's Cabinet finally approved .2 billion in funds to build a 252-kilometer railway that will cut the travel time between the Thai capital and its northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima from the nearly six hours it takes now to less than one and a half hours when it is completed in 2021.

According to the deal, Thai companies will be responsible for construction of the railway, due to start in September, while Chinese enterprises will design it, advise on its construction and provide technology and technical training, among other things.

With a maximum speed of 250 km per hour, the railway will help facilitate Thailand's trade and investment, and attract more tourists. More important, it will help restore the confidence of foreign investors after years of political turmoil in the country. The Thai economy has already rebounded after a decade of slowdown, with growth expected to reach 3.4 percent this year, but the railway project will further propel that good momentum.

The second phase of the project will see the railway extend from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai, across the Mekong River from Vientiane, capital of Laos, paving the way for a railway from Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan province, to Bangkok, and finally to Singapore.

The two sides first agreed to build the railway in Thailand as early as in 2010. That it has taken so long for the project to finally be put on track, after Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha invoked an executive order last month to clear the legal and political hurdles standing in the way, speaks of the need for China to better communicate the benefits of the Belt and Road Initiative to all members of society in countries along the new Silk Road routes.

There were disagreements on costs, loan interest rates and labor rules, but failure to kick-start the infrastructure project earlier was mainly due to the concerns among Thais about how much ordinary people would benefit from the railway.

However, both countries believe that their and the region's economic development potential will be further boosted by the railway, which will serve to promote the construction of a trans-Asian high-speed railway network.

And it shows that China and countries in the region are willing to join hands to create a favorable trade and investment environment from which all can benefit.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58August 22 2017 01:37:35

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16August 22 2017 01:37:35

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18August 22 2017 01:37:35

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords