Thai junta sets plan for fast rail links toChina


BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's militarygovernment approved a massive budget to upgrade the country's railwaysincluding high-speed rail that would eventually link with China as part of aneight-year plan to improve infrastructure, officials said Wednesday.


The junta approved 741.46 billion baht($23.3 billion) to build two high-speed train routes that will connectThailand's industrialized eastern seaboard with its northern and thenortheastern borders, Transport Ministry permanent secretary Soithip Traisuth said.


Similar plans initiated last year byThailand's elected government, which was ousted in a May 22 military coup, werescrapped by the Constitutional Court in March. It said the administration'sbill to borrow 2 trillion baht ($63 billion) to fund transport and waterinfrastructure was unconstitutional.


The junta's high-speed trains will travelat 160 kilometers (99 miles) per hour, slower than proposed by the oustedgovernment, and will eventually "provide links to the north to China andLaos and down to Malaysia and Singapore," said Soithip, who is also theacting transport minister.


China has deepened economic ties with manySoutheast Asia countries despite tensions over Beijing's claims to most of theSouth China Sea. Rail links that extend deep into the region would boost tradeand other commerce with China, the world's No. 2 economy.


The construction of the two routes, fromNong Khai in the northeast and Chiang Khong in the north, will start in 2015and should be completed by 2021.


The officials didn't explain why the juntashelved the former's government plan for a high-speed rail line that wouldconnect Bangkok with Chiang Mai, a stronghold of ousted prime minister YingluckShinawatra.


The junta has been considering totalspending of 3 trillion baht ($94 billion) on transport and otherinfrastructure.


Under the junta's plans, Thailand will alsoexpand dual-track railways. The spending also includes the development ofinter-city trains, public transportation to ease congestion in Bangkok and itsgreater metropolitan area, expansion of nationwide highways to support bordertrade and upgrades of the capacity of ports and airports.



PaleMoon 36 minutes ago 0 0 m,

Philippine's economy has been controlling by Chinese for many decades.Philippine's economy has been improving year by year after 2008 world wideeconomic meltdown four years ago. Americans had paid billions to Aquino fortrying to distract China from building out China led Asia Europe EconomicUnion. Since Aquino could not splitting the bribe money evenly between him andhis buddies, there is a rumor that Aquino's buddies had wanted to topple himand took Aquino's share of billion of American bribe money


m 1 hour ago 2 3 China's propaganda for a united Asia isactually part of its One-China world ambition. It is trying to corrupt theleaders of Asia with promises of economic prosperity but once it gains controlof those countries, it will manipulate it. That's China's evil dream. Imagine,the world's resources getting smaller, with the population getting bigger. Doyou think China will allow other countries to prosper over its own people???Countries and leaders should re-think many times over what they are gettinginto if they deal with evil China.


PaleMoon 24 minutes ago 0 0 yoda2,

America has been eye and ear dropping on its own social activists and has beendiscriminating against Blacks, Latinos, Hawaiians, Alaska Eskimos, Asians andothers. American soldiers and Filipinos have been carrying out America approvedMuslim Filipino genocide for many decades. American soldiers and Filipinos hadkilled millions of Muslim Filipinos for many decades. Filipinos killing moreFilipinos tradition has been continuing as today!


PaleMoon 32 minutes ago 0 0 sansei,

Japanese soldiers had killed 1/20 Philippine population during WW2 Your wishcould be come true because Japanese soldiers should be able to do a better jobby killing at least half of Philippine population on next Philippine invasion.


Ron 7 hours ago 0 4 Smart move. The projects are needed to getpeople back to work and move forward. I'm sure the Chinese government willprovide financial support as well. The Thais are a wonderful people. It painsme to see such strife in their country.


Joe T 8 hours ago 0 3 The move is good for Thailand's futuredevelopment. The northern provinces should get a lot of benefits.


PMS 9 hours ago 0 0 It will be interesting to see how they willsecure a system like that. The Muslim population in the South will surely lookat this as a nice terror target. Blow up a bridge or railway with a train loadof locals or tourists traveling at 90 mph.


Churchof 10 hours ago 4 2 Robert said "This would be a greatavenue for China in the future to mass move troops and weapons through S.E.Asia at a fast pace." That's true. However I think Chinese control ofThailand will initially be taken by economic means. It's already been happeningfor decades though massive investment. Presently Thailand's elitebusinessmen/women are Chinese/Thai. Their only allegiance is to money. If Chinamakes it easier for the business elite to get richer, China's best interestwill be their best interest. The Chinese empire is re-emerging faster than mostpeople think.


weea 1 day ago 3 6 The rail link will see Thailand becomingthe pivotal axis for the Asean region; this is essentially because the China-Myanmarrail link is off. Myanmar's action will see China by-passing them in linkingtheir shipments to the Indian Ocean especially their African trade. If theexisting rail link can be refurbished to handle freight from South-WesternChina; Penang Port may be an option for this linkage. Though in the longerterm, Malaysian ports may grab some of the tonnages from Indonesia destined toChina if this rail link becomes feasible; meaning being up-graded to competeeffectively with the current sea-link; which requires shipments destined to CIScountries to use Lianyunggang railway port!


W 9 hours ago 1 9 Why the media has to mention 'military'government like they do to label 'communist' Chinese government? Can we say thecapitalist US government? or the Imperialist US government? Talk aboutpropaganda, the media from the West leading by the US is the biggest propagandamouthpiece for the political government that has world domination mentality.


oldultrarunner 1 day ago 4 20 As someone who lived in Thailand, workingthere from 2003-2009, I can tell you that that 2021 date of completion of highspeed rail will likely go out to oh, around 2050. It took them over 7 years tofinish the skytrain link to the airport. And the current "new"airport was over budget and completion date by a decade. I laughed when I readthe "high speed" train will travel at 160K/99 mph. I lalso lived and worked in China for3 years, and their high speed rail is typically about twice that speed.


Timothy 20 hours ago 1 5 There needs to be two sets of tracks. Onefor high speed passenger and the other for freight.