Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Southeast Asia Road and Rail Construction

Xinhua - English reports 10 June 2006: "China, the Laos and Thailand have agreed to build a 1,818 km international highway which will start from Kunming, capital of Yunnan, and end at Bangkok of Thailand.

And construction has completed on 60 percent of this international highway's Chinese section that starts from Kunming and stops at Mohan, an important trade port on the Sino-Laotian border. The remainder of the section will be finished by late 2007.

The Chinese parts of two more highways connecting Kunming to Hanoi of Vietnam and to Yangon of Myanmar will be finished by late 2007 and will be upgraded to freeways in 2010.

[Pan Pearl River Delta Region] PPRDR highway network can be expanded into ASEAN via the three main international highways: the Sino-Myanmar highway (Yangon-Mandalay-Kunming), the Thailand-the Laos-China highway, and the Sino-Vietnamese highway (Hai Phone-Hanoi-Kunming), according to Xu Rongkai, governor of Yunnan.

In the meantime, China is also stepping up construction of a railway scheme that link up China and ASEAN via Yunnan.

A feasibility study has completed for construction of the China section of the proposed Pan-Asian Railway that will run from Singapore, through Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar before reaching China's Yunnan Province.

The new 340-km railway section will connect Dali, a well-known scenic site in Yunnan Province, southwest China, to Ruili, another Yunnan town on the Sino-Myanmar border.

The feasibility study calls for a construction budget for Dali-Ruili railway section of 10 billion yuan (about 1.23 billion U.S. dollars), said Bai Enpei, secretary of Yunnan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China. He said construction work on the section could begin soon.

The proposed 2,600 km-long Pan-Asian Railway will start in Singapore, pass through Kuala Lumpua in Malaysia, Thailand's capital Bangkok, Yangon in Myanmar, and terminate in Kunming, capital of Yunnan.

Highways linking up Nanning, capital of Guangxi, Yunnan's close neighbor, to Guangxi's land border ports and seaports with Vietnam have also been under swift construction."

Presumably the Lao portions of the links would have to be sponsored from a foreign donor.
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