1. China, Malaysia Plan to Build Pan-Asia Railway, Expanding Connectivity between Kunming, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia

By: Muhammad Arif

KUALA LUMPUR: China and Malaysia have discussed a joint cooperation project that aims to enhance regional connectivity through the construction of new international land and sea trade corridors.

The Pan-Asia Railway, a connectivity project of $10-billion investment is proposed by Malaysia, and will link the  East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) of Malaysia with China-built railway projects in Laos and Thailand.
According to news sources, the Railway project will potentially expand Belt and Road initiative across Southeast Asia.

This will better promote the construction of new international land and sea trade corridors, enhance regional connectivity, and deepen the building of the ASEAN community,” Chinese Premier Li Qiang,  said on Wednesday during his three-day visit to Malaysia.
Premier Li while speaking at a ground-breaking ceremony at a construction site for the ECRL – a 665-km (413-mile) railway said that it will link peninsular Malaysia’s east and west coasts by the end of 2026.

Malaysia’s government stated in March 2024 it would consider extending the China-backed Railway project to its border with Thailand.

Premier Li also met with Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in the administrative capital of Putrajaya,  to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

In his remarks, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia supports the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, and is willing to work with China to deepen cooperation in such fields as trade, investment, food, energy, digital economy and environmental protection, promote major projects such as the East Coast Rail Link and the “Two Countries, Twin Parks,” and strengthen exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, so as to jointly open a new era of Malaysia-China relations.

Both the premiers, Li and Anwar Ibrahim, agreed to synergize their development strategies, and expand their shared interests, so as to deliver more benefits to the peoples of China and Malaysia.

The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL)
project is a 665km-long railway line that is being built by China to connect several east and west coast regions of Malaysia.
ECRL is the biggest economic and trade project between China and Malaysia and aims to enhance transportation connectivity, facilitate economic development, and promote trade and tourism along the East Coast region.



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