Leading U.S. China Scholar and Official Thai Advisory Board Promote Kra Canal
June 1, 2016 (EIRNS)—On virtually the same day this week, the leading Thai government advisory body and a leading U.S. China scholar issued reports promoting the benefits of building the Kra Canal in southern Thailand. Lyndon LaRouche, who has promoted the Canal for nearly 30 years, noted today that the building of the Kra Canal is crucial for "all waters" and all nations in the region, linking India and South Asia to China and the other East Asian nations. He said that were it to be done, "it would be one of the greatest achievements of modern history."
Thailand’s National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA), the 200-strong advisory body on legal and developmental matters formed by the Prayuth Chan-ocah government last year, have, according to the Bangkok Post, proposed a networking plan to the Prime Minister to build the canal. Gen Harn Leenanon, ex-commander of the 4th Army Region and chief project adviser, said the proposal "aims to stimulate the economies in the southern provinces, and create jobs," with "spin-off effects for the national economy." The Post added that the Thai-Chinese Culture and Economy Association, co-chaired by EIR’s associate in Thailand Pakdee Tanapura, together with private sector interests, have spent more than a year preparing a plan for launching the canal project. The increasing Chinese interest in the canal as part of Xi Jinping’s New Maritime Silk Road has breathed new life into the idea.
Prime Minister Prayuth, asked about the proposal, repeated his policy that it is not the right time for the project. Nonetheless, the public support from the NRSA, which has representation from government, military, royalty, and academic and private sectors, demonstrates the increasing support for the concept within the country.
In the United States, Prof. Lyle Goldstein, a China scholar (and Russian scholar) at the Naval War College, published an insightful analysis on the increasing support for the Kra Canal within China, under the title "Will this be China’s Panama Canal?" Noting the dramatic economic and cultural benefits of linking the Pacific and Indian Ocean basins through the Canal (he reports that the Chinese call it the "golden waterway"), Goldstein says the Canal could become the "main act" to the sideshow being orchestrated by Obama in the South China Sea. He points also to China’s concern about the "Malacca dilemma," both the overcrowding, and the danger of the United States closing off the Strait in a military move against China.
Goldstein takes note of the difficulties, especially the political restraints within Thailand. But, importantly, he concludes:
"Washington would do well to maintain an agnostic or even modestly supportive disposition toward projects that help knit Eurasian peoples and markets closer together. The Kra Canal is hardly a threat to U.S. national security and... is mainly an issue for the people of Thailand to decide upon."
In the context of the recent potential breakaway of the Abe government in Japan from the Obama war policy against China and Russia, LaRouche noted the importance of the fact that the Kra Canal project nearly came to fruition in the 1980s, through the close cooperation between leading forces in Japan working closely with Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, and with the Thai government, on this crucial project for the world economy.