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作者: 来源: 日期:2016-09-28 8:57:39

广州泰语翻译公司:China regional rail venture struggles to gather steam





A contentious Chinese high speed rail project in Thailand has emerged as an important test of both Beijing’s regional ambitions and the appetite of the ruling generals in Bangkok for deeper ties with their giant neighbour.



Questions swirl around the scope, cost and viability of a plan that critics have branded the “Train to Nowhere” after the two countries said they wanted to push ahead with a $5.2bn first phase but pointed to initial construction of only 3.5km of track.



The project is part of a wider pivot by China to Southeast Asia as it seeks to build trade routes, exploit tensions with Washington, and quell opposition to its sea territory claims. But the Mekong rail initiative has also been plagued by delays and disagreements that highlight wider regional obstacles to Chinese dominance and its “One Belt, One Road” trade route strategy of investing in infrastructure in neighbouring countries — as well as those farther away.



Aksornsri Phanishsarn, an economics professor and China specialist at Bangkok’s Thammasat University, said more than a dozen bilateral meetings on the proposed 873km Sino-Thai railway co-operation had still failed to resolve some big disagreements. These included how the project would be funded and what the conditions of any loans from China would be. “I do hope that these problems can be overcome if the two countries seriously work together with sincerity and concrete commitments to their mutual benefit,” she said.

泰国国立法政大学(Thammasat University)经济学教授及中国事务专家胡慧文(Aksornsri Phanishsarn)表示,中泰双方就拟议的873公里铁路合作计划举行了十多轮双边会谈,但仍未解决一些重大分歧。这些分歧包括项目融资方式以及中国提供贷款的条件。她表示:我衷心希望,如果双方真诚合作,做出互惠互利的具体承诺,这些问题能够得到解决。


The Mekong rail project has long been billed as a crucial plank in efforts to build a transport and trade bridge between China and a Southeast Asian region of more than 600m people. The first train route would run from the southern Chinese city of Kunming via Vientiane, the capital of Laos, then on to Bangkok and a port and petrochemical complex in the coastal Thai province of Rayong.



China and Thailand have provisionally agreed to a 179bn baht ($5.2bn) deal for the first 250km phase of the project within Thailand, which would run north from Bangkok to central Thailand, the country’s transport minister said last week. A building contract is scheduled to be tendered and awarded for an initial 3.5km section by November, with work to start before the end of the year.



The announcement of such a short first segment has been mocked by some commentators but Narongsak Sanguansin, a Thai transport ministry official, said it would serve as a model and would allow any initial technical problems to be identified and resolved. “This is the first time Thailand has had this kind of high-speed train construction, so there may be many things that need to be adjusted,” he said.

泰国宣布如此短的首段工程,受到了一些评论人士的嘲笑。但是泰国交通部官员那龙萨沙愿辛(Narongsak Sanguansin)称,这一路段将作为样板,以便发现和解决所有最初的技术问题。这是泰国首次上马这类高速铁路建设,因此可能会有很多方面需要调整,他称。


But the exact status of the project still remains unclear. A Chinese source with knowledge of investment in Thailand suggested the deal with Bangkok was not yet sealed. “They keep announcing it prematurely,” he said.



The hiatus in reaching an agreement echoes delays in the $7bn China-Laos rail project, which was launched with much fanfare with a groundbreaking in December but has moved little since. Vientiane said in July that work was on hold pending completion of reports on social and economic impact demanded by the Chinese banks backing the venture.



Thailand’s generals have pushed for closer relations with China since their May 2014 coup. They want to kick-start their country’s sluggish economy, while relations with the US have cooled because of Washington’s criticism of the military putsch.



For Beijing, the Thai project offers a gateway into a Southeast Asian regional hub and a chance to deepen relations with a military that has no territorial quarrels with China and is likely to remain highly influential in Bangkok even after elections provisionally scheduled for next year.



But some analysts say the Thai rail project makes little commercial or strategic sense. Zhao Jian, economics professor at Beijing Jiaotong University and a trenchant critic of high-speed rail both within and outside China, said the Sino-Thai rail link was a “loss-loss proposition and China will be the biggest loser”.

但一些分析人士表示,泰国铁路项目几乎不具备商业和战略价值。北京交通大学(Beijing Jiaotong University)的经济学教授赵坚对中国境内外的高铁项目都持批评意见,他称中泰铁路线是个双输的提议,中国会成为最大的输家


“Even normal rail would probably be lossmaking in that region because there is no significant traffic there,” Mr Zhao said. “These countries don’t have any money. They aren’t providing a guarantee, so the losses are China’s.”



Other observers have suggested that big rail projects are useful to China because they mop up spare supply chain capacity that lacks enough orders domestically. Beijing argues demand for rail capacity will flourish as neighbouring countries become richer, as has happened in China itself.



“Thailand has an extreme concentration of population and financial resources [in Bangkok],” said Mei Xinyu, a Beijing-based economic strategist. “If you built infrastructure elsewhere, the resources would follow and the under-developed areas would become more developed.”



Additional reporting by Panvadee Uraisin

Panvadee Uraisin补充报道




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