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China's High-Speed Rail Reaches into Southeast Asia

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Connecting these nations together with high-speed rail and giving the population of Southeast Asia a direct route into China's own massive domestic high-speed rail network will facilitate the movement of people and goods in ways that may not be immediately quantifiable.

There were similar doubts over China's own high-speed railway when it was first proposed, but it now moves billions of people a year, easily competes with domestic airlines, and has begun to play a role in China's development in ways not directly connected to simply collecting fares.

Arguments against the construction of Thai and Laotian high-speed rail based merely on passenger numbers and revenue projections are lazy arguments and are made primarily by a West otherwise unable to compete with China's growing influence and role in Asia - a region the US saw itself maintaining primacy over for another century.

The completion of high-speed rail in Southeast Asia - an admittedly massive project - will take time to prove its worth. But a look at high-speed rail anywhere else in the world indicates that such a network will undoubtedly become a major asset for each nation involved, and the entire region. It is no coincidence that detractors of the ongoing project are also deeply involved in promoting US-funded anti-government protests in Thailand and a generally anti-Chinese stance regarding any issue in the region.

For detractors, it is not doubts about the viability of this major leg of China's OBOR initiative - it is certainty of how it will contribute to the end of Western hegemony in Asia permanently.

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Brian Joseph Thomas Berletic (A.K.A. Tony Cartalucci) is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer.  Tony is a American industrial designer living in Bangkok, Thailand since he left the United States Marine Corps and the US altogether in 2004.

Since he began writing about politics he has used pen (more...)

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