Sunday, June 8, 2014

China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand

The following article was translated from Chinese media:
New bipolar Maritime Silk Road, safer and 1 000 km shorter between China and Indian Ocean. And with new shortcut route between North-East Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China.  
The trade route to the Indian Ocean through the Malacca Strait has the problems of pirates, shipwrecks, haze, sediment and shoals.
Its rate of accidents is twice as high as the Suez Canal and four times higher than the Panama Canal.
An alternative shorter route is to build a canal at Kra IsthmusThailand. It will save shipment costs and time as the route is shortened by 1,000 km.
Global Sea mass transport routes (see busiest seaports by cargo tonnage)
Due to close trade relations between China and ASEAN for years, their bilateral trade rose from $54.8 billion in 2002 to $443.6 billion in 2013. In the same period, mutual investment grew four times to an accumulated total of $100 billion. With the development of SEAWAPA, the regional trade will increase exponentially. Both Malacca Strait and the Port of Singapore won't be able to coop with dramatic increase of goods to be transported.
The close relations and accumulated wealth due to economic and trade growth make people believe that the construction of Kra Isthmus is affordable now.
China’s huge state-owned LiuGong Machinery Co. Ltd and XCMG, and private Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd have taken the lead to set up a preparations group for the construction of Kra Isthmus Canal.
The 100 km artificial link to the Indian Ocean will benefit not only China and ASEAN, but also Japan and other countries world trade.

From “Commencement of the Kra Isthmus Canal project: China takes the lead in building a route shorter than Malacca Strait” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese) and Wikipedia “Strait of Malacca”