04 September 2015
Vietnam’s decision to build a deep-water seaport off its southern-most province of Ca Mau may signal the eventual building of Thailand’s Kra Canal as a new regional shipping lane.
Talk just won’t go away about a possible shipping lane – the Kra Canal – that, if it ever were to materialise, would be built through Thailand’s Kra Isthmus, enabling ships to bypass the Strait of Malacca, and, in the process, Singapore’s port hub.
The long-touted idea of such a canal, while conveniently linking the Gulf of Thailand with the Indian Ocean, is fraught with regional geopolitical sensitivities. Recent developments would elevate that to include China-United States sensitivities, as well. This is particularly so after Chinese media reported in May that China and Thailand had signed a memorandum of understanding in Guangzhou to build the Kra Canal for US$28 billion (S$39.4 billion).
… Graham Ong-Webb is a Research Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. This appeared earlier in The Straits Times.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015