China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand

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  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand

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    The following article was translated from Chinese media:

    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 Isthmus, Thailand. It will save shipment costs and time as the route is shortened by 1,000 km.

    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.

    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.

    Source: huanqiu.com “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”

    China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand | China Daily Mail
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    The Kra Canal Project, which would link the South China Sea.

    It adds credence to the justification that China is/ has opened up a variety of options, be it the pipelines, railway and roads to Xinjiang from Central Asia, Gwadar in Pakistan and in Myanmar so that their strategic resources and trade cannot be interdicted/ disrupted by closing of the Malacca straits.

    Now when the Kra Canal is operational, it will not only cut down transportation cost, but also reduce the importance of the Straits of Malacca.

    However, it will increase the importance of the Andaman and Nicobar islands of India and much international naval activity can be expected.

    The Kyaukpyu port that China has built, and the Coco Island may become a hub of Chinese naval activities in the Bay of Bengal.
     
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