Monday, August 14, 2017

Suddenly the #KraCanal is a thing again #OBOR #RCEP

Yes, we're using this graphic again. Boo Hoo


Beijing & Friends are weaving mixed signals about Fitzcarraldo's dream again. The repercussions of a possible Kra Canal also highlights how Beijing leverages Chinese overseas investments for soft power purposes even when their success is based on conflicting outcomes, such as with Malaysia's East Coast Rail Link and Sri Lanka's Colombo Port City. Most likely, however, the current talk is aimed mainly at bringing Malaysia and Singapore to heel 


"Belt & Road Not a Cash Machine," Global Times 9 August Ding Gang outlines the political and technical complexities of such a project, casting doubts on its sustainability. Yes, we quoted Global Times. Maybe the article gives some deniability to China with regard to current speculation, but it also spotlights the perception of OBOR as a gravy train by some overenthusiastic partners
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1060487.shtml

"Ambitious Thai canal would link Pacific and Indian oceans," Nikkei Asian Review 10 August Despite an estimated $50 Billion cost and apparent political reluctance, this article breathlessly outlines the perceived gains. Project boosters, including retired Thai generals, Chinese academics, to make their case in late September
https://asia.nikkei.com/print/article/285210

"Mind games at Doklam," Indian Express 11 August While mainly dealing with the Doklam/Sikkim standoff, article cites the likely empty threat of a Kra Canal as a means to pressure Singapore
http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mind-games-at-doklam-standoff-india-china-sikkim-standoff-trijunction-4792691/

"Beware China's great game," Free Malaysia Today 11 August Malaysia is about to get herself in hock to Beijing by building the East Coast Rail Link. If the Kra Canal were to actually become a thing all that debt will be for nothing
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2017/08/11/beware-chinas-great-game/

UPDATE: 

"The Kra Canal: Double Bypass," Lowy Interpreter 14 August David Brewster outlines the regional winners and losers if a canal ever actually gets built, with special attention on how it dovetails with Sri Lanka's maritime initiatives
https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/kra-canal-double-bypass


Our previous coverage of the Kra Canal: 




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