A group of influential Thai officials is promoting the construction of a long-envisioned megaproject, known as the Thai Canal. If built, it would transform the regional maritime dynamics and give Thailand a substantial stake in global trade. Yet, as ambitious as the project it, there are equally credible drawbacks that could reshape the geo-economic fortunes of Southeast Asia.
The Straits of Malacca is an incredibly busy waterway. Around 20% of global trade and 30% of the world’s crude oil travel through this tiny choke point. At its narrowest, the Straits of Malacca is less than 2 miles wide and as Asian economies grow, alternative shipping lanes are becoming more attractive. China is looking to bankroll a canal that would bisect the Malay Peninsula and reduce their dependency on the Straits of Malacca. This is still uncertain, but would represent a major geo-engineering project that
Perspectives: What are the positives and negatives of this plan for Thailand? China? The United States?