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China, Thai governments deny plan to build Kra Canal

China, Thai governments deny plan to build Kra Canal
Both the Thai and Chinese governments have denied plans to build the Kra Canal across southern Thailand after two groups of private investors signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the long planned project.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular press briefing yesterday that there were no plans to participate in the $28bn project.

A Thai Foreign Ministry official was also quoted by media as saying the project was not in the pipeline.

Based on photos on internet forums the MoU that was signed was between the China – Thailand Kra Infrastructure Investment and Development Co Ltd and Asia Union Group. The latter is linked to former Thai Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh.

The Kra Canal would, if built, enable ships sailing to and from China and East Asia to bypass the narrow Straits of Malacca and Singapore.