Guangzhou: Media reports had suggested China and Thailand had signed an MoU in Guangzhou last Friday for the construction of Kra Canal project, which is expected to take 10 years to complete with an investment of at least $28bn . However, the Chinese government said today it was not behind the plans, saying it was private Chinese money involved.
The 26 m deep and less than 100 km long canal will be the largest in Asia upon completion of the project. The canal will link the South China Sea directly with the Andaman Sea cutting down the current route by at least 1,200 km, meaning ships will no longer have to pass through the increasingly congested and piracy-plagued Strait of Malacca.
The MOU follows the recent implementation of China’s new “One Belt, One Road” (New Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road) initiatives which vows to enhance trade connectivity in the Eurasia region.
The University of International Business and Economics in Beijing has been working with the National Committee for the Study of the Kra Canal Project on the pre-feasibility study.
Chinese telecoms tycoon Wang Jing is currently building a canal in Nicaragua to rival the Panama Canal.