TODAY -

China spreads wings across the Indochinese Peninsula

Dr. Puyam Rakesh Singh *



China is spreading its wings across the Indochinese Peninsula with various connectivity projects which will have long-term implications in the region. It includes projects such as China-Myanmar pipelines, China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, China-Thailand Railway, China-Laos Economic Corridor, Cambodia's master plan for a transport system etc.

China's interest in Lao People's Democratic Republic (in short 'Laos') is driven by geographical realities in the Peninsula. The central position of Laos provides China overland access to Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Gulf of Siam. Also, Laos is one of the closest allies of China in the region. Beijing is working towards expanding its influence in Laos through export of petroleum products and construction of transport infrastructure under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Following a two-year long preparation and feasibility study, PetroChina International (Yunnan), a subsidiary of PetroChina group, on October 31, 2018, exported over 64 tonnes of diesel to a Lao company marking the first export of Chinese refined oil to Lao market. The oil tankers which were loaded in China's Kunming arrived at Boten oil depot in Lao covering a distance of over 700 km.

 Fig. 1 China-Myanmar Oil Pipeline and Anning oil refinery
Fig. 1 China-Myanmar Oil Pipeline and Anning oil refinery



Traditionally, Laos imports petroleum products from or via Thailand and Vietnam. With the arrival of Chinese refined oil into the Lao market, the Nationwide Trading Petroleum Public Company of Laos (NTP) became the first Lao oil company to import petroleum products directly from China. Thus, the China-Myanmar oil pipeline has helped Laos diversify its import route (See Fig. 1).

The Anning oil refinery near Kunming in Yunnan province is gradually tapping oil markets in Southeast Asia. The crude oil to the refinery in Yunnan province comes passing through the 2,400-km long pipeline with a capacity to supply 440,000-barrel per day (bpd). The oil terminal on Made Island in Myanmar's Kyaukpyu feeds the pipeline for the 260,000 bpd oil refinery plant at Anning.

China has built the China-Myanmar oil pipeline to diversify its energy import routes and reduce dependence on the Strait of Malacca. It is also aimed at industrial and economic development of the relatively underdeveloped south-western China. The first offloading of crude oil at Made Island oil port in Myanmar's Rakhine State happened in April 2017. A Suezmax tanker named 'United Dynamic' with the capacity to transport 140,000-tonnes crude oil offloaded crude oil for the first time to start operation of the oil pipeline.

Moreover, China is looking forward to enhance economic integration with the neighbouring Southeast Asian nations by building transport connectivity with the neighbouring countries. Here comes the significance of BRI in Laos and other Southeast Asian nations. Being a country with no access to the sea, the Lao government is working towards transition from a 'land-locked' to a 'land-linked' country in its strategy for economic development and transport infrastructure development.

 Fig. 2 China-Laos and China-Thailand Railways under construction
Fig. 2 China-Laos and China-Thailand Railways under construction



Under BRI, China and Laos are building railway and expressway projects connecting the two countries. On December 2, 2018, the first concrete beam of the China-Laos railway was erected in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The railway project which started construction in December 2016 is an extension of the Yuxi-Mohan Railway in Yunnan province of China (See Fig. 2).

Further south, the China-Laos Railway will be eventually connected to the China-Thai Railway line linking the north-eastern Thai city of Nong Khai and Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand.

China-Laos Expressway is a major transport infrastructure project as part of Lao's land-link strategy. Earlier, the project was planned to link Vientiane and Vang Vieng in Laos. In January 2018, the two countries agreed to extend the highway to Boten in Luang Namtha province on the China-Laos border.

On the Chinese side, the Kunming-Bangkok Expressway is already in place connecting Kunming with Mohan. Mohan on the Chinese side and Boten in Laos constitute the main border trading centres along the China-Laos border.

 Fig. 3 The planned Boten-Vientiane Expressway and Vientiane-Pakse Expressway
Fig. 3 The planned Boten-Vientiane Expressway and Vientiane-Pakse Expressway



The Laos-China Joint Expressway Development, a joint venture between the Lao government and the Yunnan Construction and Investment Holding Group (YCIH) will build the project on the basis of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model in accordance with the concession agreement signed on April 4, 2018. The 460-km long expressway linking Vientiane and Boten will strengthen economic exchanges and people-to-people contacts.

Also, in May 2018, the two countries had signed an MoU on feasibility study for constructing an expressway linking Vientiane and Pakse in Champasak in southern Laos (See Fig. 3). If successfully completed, the highway will become a key north-south corridor for Laos. Besides, the highway would create room for more transport connectivity between Laos and Cambodia and help Laos to integrate its economy further with Cambodia, Vietnam and other ASEAN nations.

Taking into account the strategic importance of the neighbourhood, China has acknowledged that "China and ASEAN countries are as close as lips and teeth". Similarly, Beijing has described its ties with the five Mekong River countries in Southeast Asia as 'lips and teeth' relationship.

Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam constitute a very strategic neighbourhood for China and, therefore, stability, peace and development in the immediate neighbourhood is closely intertwined with China's dream and aspiration.

China's efforts to safeguard its vital interests in the region will continue to shape the economic and security architecture in the Indochinese Peninsula and the surrounding areas. And it also implies more Chinese activities in the Peninsula.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are that of the Researcher and not of the Council.


Reference:

§ "Remarks by H.E. Li Keqiang Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China at the 18th China-ASEAN Summit", November 21, 2015,
http://asean.chinamission.org.cn/eng/zgwj/t1320500.htm..

§ "China starts exporting petroleum to Laos", The People's Daily, November 01, 2018,
http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/1101/c90000-9513977.html.

§ "1st bridge beam erected along China-Laos railway", The People's Daily, December 02, 2018,
http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/1202/c90000-9524435.html.

§ Chen Aizhu & Aung Hla Tun, "New China refinery faces delay as Myanmar seeks extra oil tax: sources", Reuters, October 10, 2016,
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-myanmar-oil/new-china-refinery-faces-delay-as-myanmar-seeks-extra-oil-tax-sources-idUSKCN12A0JF.

§ "Lao expressway to stretch to China: official media", Xinhua, January 3, 2018,
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/03/c_136869994.htm.

§ "Lao gov't, Chinese firm ink pact for 1st expressway in Laos", Xinhua, April 5, 2018,
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-04/05/c_137088851.htm.

§ "Laos, Chinese firm sign MoU on feasibility study for expressway", China Daily, May 30, 2018,
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201805/30/WS5b0e7dcea31001b82571d36c.html.

§ "China-Myanmar crude oil pipeline put into operation", Xinhua, April 11, 2017,
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-04/11/c_136199129.htm.

§ "Myanmar pipeline gives China faster supply of oil from Middle East", South China Morning Post, April 12, 2017,
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/2086837/myanmar-pipeline-gives-china-faster-supply-oil-middle-east.


* Dr. Puyam Rakesh Singh wrote this article for e-pao.net
Dr. Puyam Rakesh Singh is a Research Fellow at Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi and can be contacted at khuman_mei(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on December 29, 2018.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Nongpok Sanjenbam village #1: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #4: Gallery
  • Ways of seeing Atiyagi Maya
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphel Court
  • Take Me Home :: Poem
  • Money Lending business in Nagaland
  • Ambeshori : Gold at Jr Women Natl Boxing
  • Crime against nature deserve punishment
  • Khamba Thoibi Museum #1 : Gallery
  • Time- Is it an illusion? Certainly not
  • Can there really be peace without justice
  • Enrollment Program for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Heavy traffic fines, Harekrishna krishna
  • Jenil Khuman : Heroes of India award
  • Cracking the whip on driving by minors
  • ST demand: Is this a consensus decision..
  • Mukna - indigenous game : Gallery
  • Leikoiba, Lanhim, Khangjenlu :: eMing
  • An interaction with Dr. O.K. Singh #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 92 :: Poem
  • Missing person : Dongminlian at Tirupati
  • Google Earth for ground & aerial survey
  • Mary Kom 1st woman athlete for Vibhushan
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Delivering a point maturely
  • There should be a toll free grievance cell
  • Hiyang Tanaba @Lamlai #1: Gallery
  • Shrinking safe spaces
  • Child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • Demands: Flag for Naga & ST for Meitei
  • Proud of our scientists & ISRO
  • Daanveer Dutta Karna : 2nd best play
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Significance of Sept 11 to TSE
  • Climate Crisis, People, and the State
  • Ibudhou Marongkhong Haraoba #3: Gallery
  • Conundrum for Manipur govt over CAB
  • Violence against medical fraternity
  • Thongkhatabam Ankita : Governor's Award
  • The Enchantress :: Poem
  • Sunyata & Kenosis: Search of Ultimate Truth
  • Lim divide continues to run deep
  • Of nationalism, patriotism & against nature
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Students Day @B'lore : Gallery
  • Protective Thinking: Village Nationalist #1
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #3
  • Ungracious :: Poem
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • IAS Officer: Hero- Whipping boy- Villain
  • Petition CM to revoke breach order in Edn-S
  • Stand against illegal immigrants
  • September and Hijam Irabot
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #3
  • Kakching WW II Memorial Run : Gallery
  • Framework Agreement: Divide the state
  • Training Program for Remand Advocates
  • Hunt for North East designers & models
  • Kakching World War II Memorial Run: Report
  • Common Admission Test for IIMs
  • No school bags day for young students
  • GoI backtracking on Framework Agreement
  • Trekking to Dzukou #3 : Gallery
  • English as a Lingua Franca for NE
  • A Good Place to Spend the Night : Poem
  • The idea of Manipur
  • Vacancies at Hadron Techs, Imphal
  • 8th Convocation of Assam Don Bosco held
  • Yogurt based DIY packs to try
  • Big Bang Edge Test
  • Bhabananda was right; it was not only him ..
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3: Gallery
  • Judicial administration under Bhagyachandra
  • Reena Bhavsar(Pebam ningon): Mrs India
  • Sick Education System should be blamed ...
  • Foundation Day of Physics Dept, MU
  • 26th World Congress of Political Science
  • DBC, Maram bags SBSI National award
  • Regulate pay of Pvt school teachers
  • Chingda Satpi Engellei #1 : eRang
  • The Endurers : a growing tribe
  • Swachh in Manipur
  • Khongoinaba & Kanglei Chanura Kanba
  • The ten in between :: Poem
  • Happy for no reason
  • Convocation: Assam Don Bosco University
  • Sounding the alert at the entry points:
  • Victims of greed
  • Folk Dance @Retreat ceremony #2: Gallery
  • Call for Papers : NACETER 2019 at Aizawl
  • Celebrating Teachers' Day 2019
  • Draft Bill on violence against healthcare
  • From the heart - Transcending fears
  • Her Richness :: Poem
  • Beauty benefits of mint
  • Return of the power struggle
  • 'We Dont, So Shouldnt You' of Mayangs
  • Licypriya: Peace Prize : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #2
  • Licypriya : World Children Peace Prize
  • Champions at 5th Intl Thang-Ta C'ship
  • International Geological Congress 2020
  • Manipur Tourism: Best cultural Award at TTF
  • 46th AMWJU Foundation Day
  • NDPP leaders called on Nagaland Governor
  • Condemns UP Govt for case against Journo
  • Looking to CBI to deliver: The trust deficit
  • Mockery of the legislation
  • Hinduism in Manipur # 2
  • No mee should disturb peace in Kuki Hills
  • Cry of a Dying River - 91 :: Poem
  • Human service demands need to save river
  • Aromatherapy as career option
  • Khelen Thokchom Media Fellowship
  • Rejoinder to Yanthungo Patton
  • New traffic rules and regulations
  • Myopic leaders and misplaced priorities
  • Over 19 lakhs excluded in Assam NRC
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Maibi Jagoi : Gallery
  • FMGE -Foreign Medical Graduates Exam
  • Referendum in Catalonia
  • Allergen-specific blood test for allergies
  • Better investment climate: Challenge of Govt
  • AMWJU Identity Card
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #10
  • September Calendar for Year 2019 : Tools
  • Freshers Meet/Musical Night at Bangalore
  • Surgery over Healthcare
  • Discussion: Identity at India-Myanmar Border
  • A Euphoric Day Of Freedom :: Poem
  • Remembering the past famine...
  • Stalls- Hathei Phanit, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • AMSU & Naga Peace Talk
  • Hypocrisy of 'The Federation Of Haomee'
  • Introspecting renewed Hydropower push #2
  • Enrolment Program for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Nourishing homemade body wash
  • FIT India Movement Launch at ADBU
  • Deadline to ban one time use plastics
  • An opportunity to turn back nature
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang: Gallery
  • The traffic maze
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #1
  • Chinglensana Kangujam : Arjuna Award
  • A Rainy Morning in Summer :: Poem
  • Background of NRC (Assam) Act 1950
  • The name : Arguments over BT Airport
  • The changing face of Manipuri Women
  • Apple Farmer Mayengbam Shyamchandra
  • Haipou Jadonang Marangmei- The Martyr
  • Tourism & its new insights- Geotourism
  • Assam newspaper: From Arunodoi ...
  • The idea of a book club Imphal
  • Condemns act of locals in ICFAI Univ
  • Free medical camp at Ithai Barrage
  • Attacker on Childline must be arrested
  • Computer Courses at IP Infotech
  • Dead men or dead girls tell no tale
  • Going beyond people's expectations
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1: Gallery
  • Wainu Chara : An indigenous rice breed
  • The sugarcane crisis
  • Positive Teachers-Students relation
  • NDPP & BJP met with Bishop of Nagaland
  • Zero budget natural farming
  • Helmet drive with sweets at CCpur
  • Responsibility matters
  • Manipur Independence Day : Gallery
  • Manipur Heli Service : Gallery
  • Kariang nuna sip eh :: Poem
  • River Rights as legal person
  • Athokpam Right: Kalams Book of Record
  • Be Educated; Be Empowered 0.02 Edition
  • Separate flag and separate Constitution
  • Manipur on a high: Drug menace
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #2
  • Introspecting renewed Hydropower push #1
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Climate variability in Phalee khul, Ukhrul
  • What vows does a catholic priest take ?
  • Leg Pain : What to do ?
  • Convention: Defense of Democratic Rights
  • Transit route to manufacturing unit
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #5 : Gallery
  • Meeting on Road project at Phalong
  • The road that halted us by earthfall
  • National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019
  • Strategies to adopt for IAS Exam
  • Discussion: Issues of Legal Services
  • Irregularities of Non-NET Fellowship in MU
  • Threatened democracy
  • Nagas await historic day: NSCN (I-M)
  • Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Stunted Agriculture: policy failure
  • Kashmir Lockdown & its Implications
  • Dr Ak Priyokumar : Golden Achiever Award
  • Amazing beauty benefits of sea salt
  • Women entrepreneurship program in NE
  • Critically endangered species : Pony
  • Rescue for the degrading environment
  • Hinduism in Manipur # 1
  • Foundation of School Fagathansi Mission
  • Healing Leadership- Need of the Hour
  • Shri Krishna Janmasthami :: Book
  • Police : A friend or a foe ?
  • Cry of a Dying River - 90 :: Poem
  • King Leishemba attended HUNIC, Thailand
  • MBA in Global Supply Chain Management
  • Significance of Aug to NSCN (IM)
  • Restoring public education system
  • Lai-Harouba @JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai fest: Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Our Destiny Lies Only In Our Unity
  • Hanging : Suicide or homicide ?
  • Trainees from Ukhrul selected as Air Crew
  • NPF met with Nagaland Governor
  • NH7 Weekender Artists for Meghalaya
  • NH7 Weekender Artists for Pune
  • Studying how schools are run
  • Nature- the answer to global warming
  • N'Jang-Ngi Thangal fest : Gallery
  • TB is preventable & curable
  • Fake :: Poem
  • Pradhan Mantriji's 'Leirum Lengyan'
  • B Voc / M Voc courses at DM College
  • Awareness Program on Child Rights
  • Mountain Echoes, Bhutan Festival
  • Ambeshori : Gold at Nation's Cup, Serbia
  • Th Muivah : Man in the news
  • Doctors: scapegoats of a faulty system
  • Jhulon @ Nabadwip, WB : Gallery
  • School Fagathanshi Mission : Gallery
  • GojiLove : Top 20 biggest startup of India
  • Manju & Aneshori : Bismillah Award 2018
  • Healthy & active lifestyle: A healthy Manipur
  • Heikat-Leikat [13 Aug] #2 : Gallery
  • 13 August: Day to remember the heroes #2
  • Lukanand Ksh & Langpoklakpam Melody
  • IIT Guwahati's half marathon
  • Getting the best out of Govt schools
  • Babysana: Student - Aug 10 #2: Gallery
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #9
  • Indigeneity: Expression & Experience : Book
  • Patriots' Day @ Pune : Gallery
  • Babysana: State bandh - Aug 9 #2: Gallery
  • Babysana: Student protest- Aug 8: Gallery
  • Folklore of Hao communities #3
  • Aliyah #2 (Film Scenes) :: eRang
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #2 : Gallery
  • Babysana's last rites performed: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #3: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • SPONSORED ADS