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B&R Key Words (17): Projects Underway (Part III)

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

05-09-2017 13:44 BJT

Editor's Note: Keywords to Understand China: the Belt and Road Initiative is a selection of "China Keywords" entries included in an eponymous multilingual platform to help readers better understand China's B&R Initiative. It is one of the major projects implemented by the China International Publishing Group and the China Academy of Translation.

Jakarta-Bandung railway

The Jakarta-Bandung railway is Indonesia's first high-speed rail project. The planned 150-kilometer-long rail line will link Indonesia's capital Jakarta to its fourth largest city, Bandung.

Chinese businesses will participate in funding and construction. The line has a design speed of 250-300 kilometers per hour, and is to be built with Chinese technology and equipment to meet Chinese standards. The travel time from Jakarta to Bandung is expected to be shortened to about 40 minutes after the completion of the project.

An agreement was reached on October 16, 2015 between China Railway International Co., Ltd. and four Indonesian state-owned enterprises to establish a Chinese-Indonesian consortium tasked to construct and operate the line.

The project represents an innovative approach to international cooperation, with businesses from both countries involved under the sponsorship of the two governments. A groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held on January 21, 2016.
The rail link is expected to stimulate growth in such sectors as metallurgy, manufacturing, infrastructure, power generation and logistics, create jobs, and promote structural transformation in Indonesia.

It will, in particular, facilitate travel, expand business opportunities and promote tourism along the rail line. It will also provide a sound basis for further cooperation between China and Indonesia in such fields as infrastructure development and trade.  

China-Laos railway

In April 2010, an agreement was reached between China and Laos on the first China-Laos railway to be financed, built and operated jointly by both countries; it was approved by the Lao parliament in October 2012.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held in December 2015 for the Lao section of the line. The construction of China-Laos railway officially got underway on December 25, 2016, following a ceremony held in the northern Lao city of Luang Prabang.

This planned line is China's first overseas railway project to provide a direct link to China's internal rail network, and the second such project – after the Jakarta-Bandung rail link in Indonesia – to be built with Chinese technology and equipment to meet Chinese standards. It will also be an important section of the pan-Asia railway network.

Starting from the Mohan-Boten crossing at the China-Laos border, the 400-kilometer-long line will run south to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. 63 percent of the railway will consist of bridges and tunnels.

It is scheduled to open in 2021, with a design speed of 160 kilometers per hour. The investment in the project will be about 40 billion Chinese yuan (US$5.76 billion), 70 percent of which comes from China and the remainder from Laos.

Once in service, the railway will significantly boost the economic and social development of Laos, facilitate local transportation and improve its efficiency, and expand cooperation between China and Laos in areas such as trade, investment and tourism.

It will contribute to the development of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, and inject new life into the economy in China's southwest region.

China-Thailand railway

The China-Thailand railway will be Thailand's first standard-gauge railway to be jointly built by China and Thailand. Its planned length is 900 kilometers.

A "rice for high-speed rail" plan was first proposed by both countries in 2012 during the visit of the then Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to China. The plan was then shelved as a result of political turmoil in Thailand.

After approval by the Thai Parliament on December 6, 2014, a memorandum of understanding for the rail project was signed on December 19. The signing was witnessed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Formal consultation on the project followed.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held in Thailand on December 19, 2015. The construction of the Bangkok-Kaeng Khoi section began in early 2016, and is scheduled to be completed in three years. The entire rail system is expected to be operational in five years.

This rail cooperation project will be a showcase for effective alignment between China's Belt and Road Initiative and Thailand’s infrastructure development plans. Serving Thailand's northeastern regions and covering major cities, the network will be a great boon to economic development and standards of living in those regions.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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