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Influential Thais Push To Build $28Bn Kra Canal

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#1 Flashermac



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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:54

lobby group of Thai generals, politicians, academics and business people have joined with Chinese interests to persuade Bangkok to revive the plan to build a $28bn, 140-km canal across Thailand’s Kra isthmus, allowing ships to avoid the congested Straits of Malacca.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the group includes some of the country’s “most influential figures”.

Thailand is presently led by military junta headed by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, whose regime ruled out building the canal in the immediate future owing to its projected cost and the symbolic effect of dividing the country.

However, the lobby group is arguing that if a feasibility study were to be approved, the canal could be funded by Chinese banks as part of China’s grand One Belt, One Road vision.

The campaign to dig the channel is being spearheaded by a group of retired generals who have formed the Thai Canal Association. The group is working with researchers from Peking University and the Thai–Chinese Trade Association to survey the proposed route and drum up popular support for its implementation.

The group has set up public meetings to promote the project in Thai provinces it could run through, including Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, and Songkhla.

One meeting in May was told that the project would consist of two canals, each 140km long, 400m wide and 30m deep. Development projects would also be undertaken on both sides and deepwater ports would be built at either end. The budget was estimated at around 1.68 trillion baht, or $50.5bn, and the projected income for Thailand would be around $3.6bn a year.

Nicholas Farrelly, a regional expert at the Australian National University, told the Nikkei Asian Review that he did not rule out the possibility of the retired generals winning their campaign, especially as the junta needed to boost the Thai economy and stabilise the country’s precarious political situation.

“These old warhorses are indicating to their protegés that this is something that needs putting on the agenda,” Farrelly said. “Although they are somewhat estranged from direct executive authority, they are serious players. At some stage, I think it is likely to happen.”

The goal of the Kra canal would be to bypass the Straits of Malacca, which lie between the island of Sumatra and the Malay peninsula. These are 890km in length, 2.5km wide at their narrowest point and 25m deep at their shallowest. More than 94,000 vessels pass through the straits each year, making them the busiest in world. Altogether it is estimated that about a quarter of the world's traded goods pass through, including 80% of the oil and gas imports of China, Japan and South Korea.


A happy childhood... is the worst possible preparation for life. - Kinky Friedman

#2 Flashermac



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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:58

This idea has been around for at least a century. Singapore has always been dead set against it (and the Brits certainly were). It could also have an effect on the Islamic nutters in the deep south, giving them a fine new target to attack and possibly a reason to claim even more of the south, Muslim or not.
A happy childhood... is the worst possible preparation for life. - Kinky Friedman

#3 Mekong


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Posted 14 August 2017 - 03:14

Try over 3 Centuries, and the Brits were not as opposed to it as you may think

First proposed 1677 by King Natraim asked French Engineer da Lamar to carry out what we call today a feasibility study.

Came up again in 1793 the brother of Rama I and again in 1863 when the Brits stuck their (our hehe) noses in after making Burma part of the Colony.

1882 Ferdinand de Lesseps, of Suez fame, visited the area but was refused permission to survey.

1897 Thailand and the British Empire agreed not to build it and the dominance of Singapore would be maintained

風 Swift as the wind
林 Quiet as the forest
火 Conquer like the fire
山 Steady as the mountain

#4 Flashermac



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Posted 14 August 2017 - 04:16

I remember it coming up here in the late 1970s or early '80s. Nothing came of it, and rumors were that Singapore paid the politicians to drop the idea. ;)

p.s. The Thais in the 1880s didn't want anything to do with the French, since that was the time the Froggies were building their Indo-China colony. I can just see them occupying southern Thailand to defend "their" canal.  King Chulalongkorn tried to tried to choose citizens of "non-threatening" countries to work in Thailand - Danes (the police), Germans (the railway and army) etc. Even today the Royal Thai Army uses Imperial German Army drill and ceremony styles.

A happy childhood... is the worst possible preparation for life. - Kinky Friedman

#5 Coss


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Posted 14 August 2017 - 19:16

But the most important question is, if they do build the canal/s, will they be deep enough for the Thai Navy's submarines?
Yes still wanting to be back in Vientiane, swinging in my hammock, supping ice n beer, in the shade of my Cashew tree.

#6 Flashermac



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Posted 15 August 2017 - 01:30

Or the Thai army's blimp ...
A happy childhood... is the worst possible preparation for life. - Kinky Friedman

#7 Pretendingtobemale



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Posted 15 August 2017 - 13:32

The magic Pogo stick bomb detectors?
לעבן צו פּאַלעסטינע

#8 pasathai1


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Posted 15 August 2017 - 14:10

whats the "

"   persons cut?
De Gaulle  
In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant

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