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Former Thai Prime Minister, Member of Privy Council, Calls for Kra Canal

Oct. 20, 2015 (EIRNS)—In an indication that the Thai royals may have decided to back the Kra Canal, Thanin Kraivichien, a Prime Minister in the 1970s and a member of the Privy Council who is very close to the King, issued a public letter to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha last week, promoting the Kra Canal.

"When talking about land and sea communication," Thanin wrote in Thai,

"there is one project that has been studied for the past years—that is the Kra Canal Project. Up until now there has been no furthur development, partly because we are aware of disturbing the relation with our neighboring countries, and partly because of security concerns in the Southern provinces of the country. It was then risky to start the Project.

"But the situation has been now changing. The ASEAN Economic Community, which we first thought would develop to our detriment, on the contrary, can become the golden opportunity for our country. The Kra Canal will turn our country into the center of sea, land, and air transportation. We could also develop a land bridge parallel to the Canal.... Coinciding with the policy of China and the ASEAN countries, the project will be beneficial for our country. If we can explain to the Thai people the benefit of becoming the center of world communication, our fear of security is unfounded, and it will be no harm for our country, but will instead enhance our security and our marine trade, and become one of the biggest centers of world communication."

Opposition from the Monarchy, real or imagined, has been one of the major obstacles to proceeding with this great project. Reference to the "policy of China" in the letter demonstrates the huge impact of the "One Belt, One Road" project in the region.