China-Thailand railway boosts Thais’ expectations for greater connectivity – Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on Sept. 7, 2022 shows a construction site of the China-Thailand Railway in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. (Xinhua/Lin Hao)

The China-Thailand Railway aims to boost Thailand’s economic development and promote the interconnection of the pan-Asian railway network. Serving as a bridge for closer people-to-people exchanges between Thailand and China, the railway will help boost tourism and regional connectivity.

BANGKOK, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) — Nantapong Nuchanet, 24, expects to drive a fast and steady train in his home country of Thailand. As the construction of the China-Thailand Railway continues apace, he feels closer and closer to his dream job.

Nantapong is now working as a translator on the first phase of the China-Thailand railway project which is to link the Thai capital Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima province in northeast Thailand. “I achieved a small goal by doing work related to the high-speed railroad,” he said.

Nantapong considers himself a lucky man – he learned the Chinese language through his interest in Chinese culture and technology, which earned him the chance to study in China.

Nantapong Nuchanet (L), a translator with China Railway Design Corporation (Thai branch) talks with project supervisor Viroj Lubkritcom at a construction site of the China-Thailand railway in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand, September 7 2022. (Xinhua/Lin Hao)

In 2016, Nantapong passed an examination held by the Confucius Institute of the Maritime Silk Road and was awarded a scholarship for a three-year program at the Tianjin Railway Technical and Vocational College in the city of Tianjin, in the north of China. China, where he chose to learn how high-speed trains work. and maintenance. After graduating in 2019, he got a job in the China-Thailand railway project.

“When I was studying in China, I used to take the Beijing-Tianjin high-speed train. It ran very fast and steadily. I hope Thailand will also have the high-speed railway, and I could drive such a train after the China-Thailand railway comes into operation,” he said.

“It (the China-Thailand railway) will connect China in the future,” Nantapong said, expecting to take the train and travel to Tianjin and the tourist city of Guilin in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (southern China).

The China-Thailand Railway, an important part of the Trans-Asian Rail Network, will be Thailand’s first standard-gauge high-speed railway.

When completed, the line will carry trains from Bangkok to the border town of Nong Khai, where a bridge will connect it to the China-Laos Railway, allowing train travel from Bangkok, through Laos, to Kunming in southwest Yunnan in China. Province.

Photo taken on Sept. 7, 2022 shows a construction site of the China-Thailand Railway in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. (Xinhua/Lin Hao)

Analysts said that the China-Thailand railway, once in operation, will not only inject vitality into the economic development of regions along the line in Thailand, but also push the connection of the pan-Asian railway network and promote the regional connectivity.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told media on July 14 that China, Laos and Thailand would seize the opening of the China-Laos railway as an opportunity to smooth the flow of goods with convenient channels, promote economy and trade with better logistics, and stimulate the development of industries with robust economy and trade.

Efforts will be made to advance the vision of interconnected development of China, Laos and Thailand, Wang said.

For Viroj Lubkritcom, a 59-year-old Thai engineer, the China-Thailand railway is more than just a physical connectivity infrastructure, it’s a project to strengthen people-to-people ties.

Viroj has worked in the project supervision industry for 35 years and now works at the China Railway Design Corporation (Thailand Branch), the supervision company for the first phase of the China-Thailand railway project.

Viroj Lubkritcom (R), project supervisor of China Railway Design Corporation (Thai branch), works at a construction site of the China-Thailand railway in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand, September 7, 2022. (Xinhua/Lin Hao)

“We have worked closely with our Chinese colleagues. By cooperating and communicating with them, we have gained a lot of experience, both in terms of railway construction and project management,” he said.

Viroj expected the project to serve as a bridge for closer personnel exchanges between Thailand and China, and a boon for tourism development.

“We have seen that the China-Laos Railway has boosted local tourism and logistics since it was put into operation. My friends and I hope that the construction of the China-Thailand Railway can be completed as soon as possible and we better connect with our neighboring countries,” he said.

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