Daily News Analysis

China opens first road-rail transport link to Indian Ocean                                      

2nd September, 2021 International Relations



  • A newly-launched railway line from the Myanmar border to the Chengdu in western China, provides China a new road-rail transportation channel to the Indian Ocean.


The China-Myanmar New Passage

  • The transport corridor involves a sea-road-rail link.
  • This passage connects the logistics lines of Singapore, Myanmar and China.
  • It is currently the most convenient land and sea channel linking the Indian Ocean with southwest China,” the one-way journey saves 20 to 22 days”.
  • China also has plans to develop another port in Kyaukphyu in the Rakhine state, including a proposed railway line from Yunnan directly to the port, but the progress there has been stalled by unrest in Myanmar.
  • Chinese planners have also looked at the Gwadar port in Pakistan as another key outlet to the Indian Ocean that will bypass the Malacca Straits.
    • Gwadar is being developed as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to the far western Xinjiang region, but has been slow to take off amid concerns over security.
  • Plans are underway to develop Chin Shwe Haw as a “border economic cooperation zone” under the Belt and Road Initiative.