By Martin Gøttske
Thailand’s government has approved construction of the first phase of a 5.5 billion USD railway project that will link the country with China through Laos. The first phase is a 250-km high-speed line. The project is part of a regional infrastructure drive by Beijing to connect Chinese cities with Southeast Asia.
Some see the project as a sign of warm ties between Beijing and Bangkok. Relations have deepened following the 2014 coup in Thailand.
Construction has been stymied for years by disagreements over financing.