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China’s Belt and Road Initiative transforming economic activity

Daryl Guppy
Daryl Guppy 12/11/2017 08:00 AM GMT+08  • 5 min read
China’s Belt and Road Initiative transforming economic activity
SINGAPORE (Dec 11): Although we are aware of the concept of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), I suspect many of us are not fully aware of its progress and the implications. It was a point brought home recently as I travelled from Jinghong in south
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SINGAPORE (Dec 11): Although we are aware of the concept of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), I suspect many of us are not fully aware of its progress and the implications. It was a point brought home recently as I travelled from Jinghong in southeastern Yunnan to Mohan on the border of China and Laos.

The trip involved skimming the mountain tops and weaving through the clouds, bearing out the translation of “Yunnan” — “south of the clouds”. A 200km journey that would have taken a full day or more just a few years ago was completed in a little over two hours and was a comfortable day trip. It was made on a dual expressway that carved its way through the jungle and mountains. Tunnels were often 2km to 3km long and the road a series of gentle gradients and sedate curves. Occasionally, there was a glimpse of the old road, with its switchback curves, steep descents and even steeper ascents.

Running alongside the expressway was the high-speed railway that links Kunming with Bangkok via Laos.

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