CHINA: Proposal to Build an Asian Version of the Panama Canal

China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand

Map showing proposed Kra Isthmus Canal location in ThailandThe following article was translated from Chinese media by China Daily Mail: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: “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”

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