According to John Chan
As the foreign ministers met in Kunming, the adjacent Guangxi province’s development and reform commission announced plans to build a $2.36 billion high-speed railway linking the provincial capital Nanning with Hanoi in Vietnam, Vientiane in Laos, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Bangkok in Thailand, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and, ultimately, Singapore.
The high-speed rail is part of a 300 billion yuan ($45 billion) program over the next five years to create a “Nanning-Singapore Economic Corridor”. Construction of new tracks from Nanning to the border with Laos is due to commence in the second half of this year.
The designated commercial hub of this railway network is Bangkok. The Thai capital will serve as a gateway to new markets for Chinese exports among South East Asia’s 600 million people as the Chinese government seeks to offset declining sales to the US and Europe. Bangkok is the site for a planned Chinese-financed $1.5 billion wholesale trade centre for Chinese goods. The centre will have a total floor space of 700,000 square metres, the size of 100 football fields.