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Old January 14th, 2014, 06:53 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
But then why via Laos at all?
China and Thailand have no border but Mekong River looks to be directly between Kunming and Chiang Mai. What would be the shorter way to Thailand - on east bank across the far corner of Laos, or instead on west bank across far corner of Burma?

I'm speculating here because I haven't seen the proposed route of the HSR to Vietianne. I think that it would be built in close proximity to the river , like contour it because more than likely the majority of the people would live along or close to it. Due to the absence of good quality roads etc the river is important so any such route would be accessible to most of the people. In other words the new transport links would gradually replace the river as the main method of transportation . In that particular section the river is vital.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 06:55 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
But then why via Laos at all?
China and Thailand have no border but Mekong River looks to be directly between Kunming and Chiang Mai. What would be the shorter way to Thailand - on east bank across the far corner of Laos, or instead on west bank across far corner of Burma?
As for the shortest way in the would build the HSR to contour the recently opened expressway to Bangkok subject to topograpical considerations etc.

At least they would be familiar with the terrain if nothing else.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 07:24 AM   #103
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Isn't it too risky at this time to build something through Myanmar because of political instability there? And that's assuming that they would even allow it. There needs to be some advantage for them too and I don't see any. Unless maybe if Chinese pay for it themselves (not via loans) plus provide some extra development money.
A few years ago a couple of Chinese commercial ships plying the Mekong River were hijack by drug traffickers and used to transport quantities of drougs along the river. Afterwards the crews of the ships, 13 crewman in total were executed in cold blood. The Chinese went after them and arrested the ringleaders brought them back to Kunming and executed them after a public trial.

1. It's dangerous down there anyway even on a ship along the river. Crime syndicates are constantly entitcing people into schemes then kidnapping them and selling them etc. You are not even safe along the border. That is precisely the reason you want to go in there. The remoteness and inaccesibility of the region aids these people in their activites. The crossed a red line by attacking and killing Chinese so the Chinese have stepped up their efforts along the river with military patrols. It's safer now than before but enforcement is not enough you need a long term plan to make the border region secure.

2. There is political instablity because there is a vacum there because the Burmese government cannot secure effective control over parts of their country by doing nothing you are reinforcing the status quo there. To reduce instability requires ongoing concerted action, political will and vast resources. Doing nothing is no longer an option , inaction will not reduce instability there.

3. No advantages for the Burmese government in building transports links through their country to one of the world's largest economies right next door to them?? Every year they have regional trade mart in Kunming where traders by all the neibouring countries come to Yunnan to seek out business opportunities and every year they call for closer co operation and bi lateral ties. There is an economic agenda for connecting to the Chinese economy. Will it benefit everybody? = No but it will benefit the people who do business and make the moeny that indirectly makes its way back to the people in power. If you are in government and you are not trying to buttress your own wealth and power then what are you doing there?

4, They have already agreed to it they just can't pay for it and build it themselves a FTA is an agreement, comprehensive one at that. If you are referring to the causing the instability if they are in agreement with it well nobody has asked them nor will they . I mean the built a gas pipeline through that region which is supplying natural gas to China. Tht is the first but not the last project.

5. The Chinese pay for it themselves?? The Chinese think of infrastructure as an investment in fact a lot of their foreign investment is infrastructure and foreign investment along with urbanization and the servic industries has been targeted by the central government as one of the principal drivers of economic growth for the economy moving forward. Will the pay for it, built it and then get the user to pay tolls in order to recoup their initial investment? Yes they will and they will be alughing all the way to the bank. Outgoing investment is reaching huge levels, countries should be lining up for their share.

6. As for extra development monies if you are referring to bribes then extra development is always welcome. When you say EXTRA money then that's more than what was publicly agreed to , more than what's on the contract, more than what other people know about etc. The EXTRA money the user can repay at a later date.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 07:39 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BE0GRAD View Post
Yes but there's a big difference between "Made by China" and "Made by Germany".
I believe he just said that. Nobody in the world can afford to pay premium price but they still constitute a market. By concentrating on the lower end of the market and driving your competitors out you establish a platform to move up the value added chain step by step. The end game is to move up and compete at a higher level putting increasingly competitive pressure on premium brands to reduce their profitability hence their ability to compete.

Take a premium brand like BMW for example, their second largest market is China and their largest manufacturing plants are in China under a joint venture agreement . By with Chinese labour,partal Chinese capital, using Chinese land, foreign technology under a premium foreign brand then exported. You tell me what is the big difference here between Made by China and Made by Germany??? Not just BMW but GM, Volvo, Ford etc, if you are not penetrating the largest passenger auto market in the world then you are no brand at all.

They manufacture Airbus 320's here in China, but Airbus is claiming that their planes in China meet the same quality requirements as the ones in Germany or France? This is not about location but brand. The issue is not Made by China or Made by Germany but Made by BMW or Made by Airbus.

Location is incidental not fundamental to good quality, knowledge, experience and technology are decisive factors at play.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 01:26 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post
The last time I went through Laos, the northern part was virtually empty, what few people lived there eixted on the sides of the road, even the kids weren't clothed in some cases. Th HSR makes no sense at all because Vietianne itself is small more a town than city.

Think of Laos, SW China Burma and Bangladesh as a single economic sphere if you like. Interconnected by road/rail/air etc. Guizhou, Sichuan and Chongqing connecting via Kunming to SE Asia and South Asia (Bangladesh). Goods and people going both ways , The Thais are expecting a massive increase in Chinese tourism as a result of the proposed HSR from Kunming. If they need another HSR from Guangxi they could route it along the coast of Vietnam via Cambodia .
Which would be a huge detour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post
The FTA really has brought about the need to seek greater connectivity between urban centers in the region. We need to connect SW China to the ports in Vietnam,
Done. The railway Kunming-Lao Cai-Hanoi-Haiphong, with 1000 mm gauge.
Is it currently working well? And how does it compare with the railway Kunming-Nanning-Beihai?
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Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post
Such is the contrast between the two sides of the border, on the Chinese side is the constant drone of jackhammers and machinery, workers everywhere. On the other side you have to step over sleeping dogs to get to the police station and it takes forever to stamp your passport. Change is coming though. The Chinese are the best chance Laos has of pulling themselves up out of poverty.

Yunnan and Guangxi may have around the same number of people but a HSR through Yunnan instead of Guangxi would see a lot more tourism into Laos for th simple reason being that a lot fo those coming by HSR literally live rght next door.
Yes - into Laos
Populations:
Mid-2012:
Yunnan 46,4 millions
Guangxi 46,6 millions
Mid-2013 - Laos 6,58 millions
November 2013 - Vietnam 90,4 millions.
GDP per head, 2012, US$ per year:
Yunnan 3516
Guangxi 4427
Laos 1380
Vietnam 1753
Total GDP, 2012, yi US$ per year:
Yunnan 1633
Guangxi 2064
Laos 91,7
Vietnam 1555,6

Looks like Guangxi-Vietnam would have bigger market than Yunnan-Laos.

Last edited by chornedsnorkack; January 14th, 2014 at 01:32 PM.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 06:57 PM   #106
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Kazakhstan suspends building of high speed rail line between two largest cities
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Astana - Almaty
The government of Kazakhstan has decided to suspend implementation of an ambitious investment project, which involves building of a high-speed railway line, which should connect Astana and Almaty, the country’s two largest cities, according to mayor of Almaty Akhmetzhan Yesimov.

According to recent statements of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the project needs of further analysis.

"We would like to have the railroad, however, according to our calculations, the project is very expensive and associated with high costs for maintenance and repair. At the same time passenger traffic between Astana and Almaty does not provide adequate profitability of the rail road. Therefore, this project requires careful evaluation before we start funding».
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 07:19 PM   #107
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Silk Wind Railway Project Pulls In To Astana

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The Kazakh government is preparing for a major multilateral announcement this coming May during the annual Astana Economic Forum that they hope will revolutionise the country’s transportation infrastructure.

Sources report that during the conference, which draws an estimated 300 high level delegates from some 20 countries, Kazakhstan expects to sign a multinational agreement for the construction of the Silk Wind railway project with the governments of Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.

The agreement is to be signed during the TransEurasia 2014 exhibition on the sidelines of the Astana Economic Forum as part of the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) framework launched by the European Union twenty years ago. The EU began the project out of the interest of diversifying energy supply routes from the Central Asian basin as well as connect China to Southern Europe, but the European Commission never supported the viability of the Silk Wind project.

Nevertheless, the Kazakh authorities and other partners have pushed hard for to make Silk Wind a reality on their own, emphasizing the multipurpose cargo container use on the railway.

Under an ambitious schedule, the Kazakhstan scheme proposes that cargo containers shipped from China by rail to the Caspian Sea port of Aktau, then ferried across to Azeri capital Baku, and then again by rail to Georgian ports on the Black Sea, then onward to Turkey or Ukraine. In the latter case, Silk Wind would be combined with the Lithuanian-Ukrainian transport corridor, Viking.

The Viking project was created by rail industry leaders of Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine in May 2008. It connects the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea, and allows trucking along the 1,753km Odessa-Kiev-Minsk-Klaipeda route.

However the fastest, most efficient option for Silk Wind would get to Europe through Turkey. Following the completion of the first railway tunnel underneath the Bosporus Straights at the end of last year, representing the culmination of a nine-year-long $5 billion project, this route became the most economically attractive for the Kazakh shipping project.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 08:40 AM   #108
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Are there any plans to build a HSR link to the Chinese border?
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Old April 4th, 2014, 09:10 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Which would be a huge detour.

Done. The railway Kunming-Lao Cai-Hanoi-Haiphong, with 1000 mm gauge.
Is it currently working well? And how does it compare with the railway Kunming-Nanning-Beihai?

Yes - into Laos
Populations:
Mid-2012:
Yunnan 46,4 millions
Guangxi 46,6 millions
Mid-2013 - Laos 6,58 millions
November 2013 - Vietnam 90,4 millions.
GDP per head, 2012, US$ per year:
Yunnan 3516
Guangxi 4427
Laos 1380
Vietnam 1753
Total GDP, 2012, yi US$ per year:
Yunnan 1633
Guangxi 2064
Laos 91,7
Vietnam 1555,6

Looks like Guangxi-Vietnam would have bigger market than Yunnan-Laos.
Stats like these are meaningless because they don't take into account the ratio of people with high disposal income.

I went near that border recently and economic growth on one side is largely driven by growth on the other side. The Chinese are investing down there big time . There are people driving around in SUV's and pick up trucks living in two or three story homes with flat screen TVs in their living rooms in that region. I know that because I went there all these stats that GDP is xxx are estimates , guesses in reality useless. I went to a funeral there recently and somebody drove up in a Ferrari. Somebody actually goes around estimating the value of assets and/or real income in these places. It's straight up guesswork.

One last point this is Chinese capital , knowledge, technology and labor making these network aka Public funds and they aren't going to use that to put an line through a jungle and a region of Vietnam inhabited by Hill tribes. It's not population but but population density and the Chinese have a lot more people on that border than the other two. It's not GDP but GDP in urban centers and the Chinese have a lot more people living in cities along that border.

There are no big cities north of Hanoi infrastructure is poor and in Laos it's non existent. This isn't something I read in a report I used to go along that border every month.

As for stats they don't take into account the Black Market based on illegal activities like drug productions etc there's money down there which doesn't officially exist.

The Guangxi argument is a better one but the population lives along the coast and the proposed HSR along the coast of Vietnam will connect Guangxi and Cambodia . If that line is built it would make the other line useless

The link is not to connect Thailand to Guangxi but Thailand to Chong Qing and Xian . It's a dead argument since they recently announced the construction of HSR lines to Mo han and Rui LI starting 2014 also the line to He Kou should be open this year along with the extension of the line into Tibet .
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Old April 4th, 2014, 09:25 AM   #110
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Don't argue with reality using stats and the simple reality is the Chinese have the money .

Yunnan is a border province so it's a high priority security wise have you ever witnessed the movement of troops to the border areas? I mean seen it first hand, some heavy firepower goes down there and back. What;s their biggest problem and it's the ability to rapidly deploy to the borders . Military garrisons are around Kunming you pass through military checkpoints to get to some of the borders. Trade considerations aside no military guy is going to argue that cutting edge transportation system should completely by pass their military commands in order to service the North of Laos and Vietnam.. Have you ever wondered why so many people here are descended from military people sent here to secure the SW flank? This reality on the ground is not going to change because so dick wrote a report in the World Bank.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 12:47 PM   #111
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If military, political, economic considerations could be unconsidered, a Central Asian line Almaty-Samarkand-Tehran would make good sense, like this fantasy map.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 01:26 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post
Don't argue with reality using stats and the simple reality is the Chinese have the money .
This I agree with.
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Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post

Yunnan is a border province so it's a high priority security wise have you ever witnessed the movement of troops to the border areas? I mean seen it first hand, some heavy firepower goes down there and back. What;s their biggest problem and it's the ability to rapidly deploy to the borders . Military garrisons are around Kunming you pass through military checkpoints to get to some of the borders. Trade considerations aside no military guy is going to argue that cutting edge transportation system should completely by pass their military commands in order to service the North of Laos and Vietnam.. Have you ever wondered why so many people here are descended from military people sent here to secure the SW flank? This reality on the ground is not going to change because so dick wrote a report in the World Bank.
Yes - Kunming is of military importance because Yunnan has borders on three sides (Burma, Laos, Vietnam) and Guangxi only two sides (Vietnam and sea). But military railways would go only as far as own side border towns - if they were built into enemy country, the enemy would block them.

Railways across borders could better make economical sense, so the neighbours allow and use them in peacetime.
Kunming-Chongqing is 1101 km. Nanning-Chongqing is 1338 km. So much is true. But Guangzhou is a richer city than Chongqing. And Nanning-Guangzhou shall soon be less than 600 km.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 01:57 PM   #113
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And this heavy militarisation in Yunnan is to guard agains whom? Invasions from Vietnam or Burma? Sounds ridiculous to me...
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Old April 5th, 2014, 09:25 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
And this heavy militarisation in Yunnan is to guard agains whom? Invasions from Vietnam or Burma? Sounds ridiculous to me...
Large areas of eastern and northern Burma are outside government control, and Burma itself is unstable. This causes refugee crises in western Yunnan. Chinese-backed port projects on the Bay of Bengal exist to provide China with an outlet to receive Middle Eastern oil without passing through the Strait of Malacca.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 11:34 AM   #115
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(continued from the China HSR thread)
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I don't think in most circumstances high-speed rail China-Europe would be competitive with air travel as people transport, even assuming that the technical and political problems were well solved. What would you prefer, an 10 hour flight or a two days train ride?
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Originally Posted by China Hand View Post
Asides the fact that we here are train fanatics, there is the simple fact that one can SEE the country as you travel by train. So yes, I would like to take a 3 days ride from China to Europe to see the continent at a slower pace. Get a sleeper compartment, bring some fruit, eat in the dining car, sounds like a great trip.

Let's run some figures.

Xiang Gang to Shenzhen to Urumqi to Lisbon is about 13,375 kms or a bit longer depending on the route through Kazakhstan, Russia and other nations.

200kph average 67 hours
250kph average 54 hours
300kph average 46 hours

China CRH fares are about .42 Yuan per km, so 5818 Yuan or 675 Euros.

Airfare from Beijing is 6,000 to 8,000. Add food, sleeper cabin, and the price is -10% of an aircraft ticket.

Still, I would like to see Eurasia from the ground - wouldn't you?
Personally I would sign up as soon as I could, though I don't think I would be able to fund such a trans-continental high-speed endeavour by myself. Currently the Chinese HSR is significantly subsidised, though for most of the Chinese network I would think it is in the position to make a commercial profit, not counting the positive effects on the economy at large. Airlines have some fuel and other subsidies, but are otherwise running (and sometimes running a profit) at commercial rates. Who would be to subsidise a Europe-East Asia line?

Your calculations, somewhat optimistically, assume a non-stop service running at top speed end-to-end. Given that there wouldn't be a lot of stops in the middle it isn't wildly optimistic (slower at the business ends, faster at the middle), still that three-day ride sounds more likely than a two-day one or the theoretic one day one. But even 24 hours is a whole lot longer than 8-12 hours flight plus 2 hours hassle at the airport.

I guess a HSR train could run 1-3 days non-stop, though I wouldn't know. There is also the matter of cleaning. A jet looks pretty lived-in after 12 hours on the wing, even with the attendants continuously collecting the trash. We are talking 2-6 times the amount of time. Sinks wouldn't do it, we'd need showers, a first-class perk. Maybe the change-of-gauge wouldn't be such an issue after all, three (hopefully clean) trains, one each for Europe, Russia-Kazakhstan, and China respectively.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 09:58 PM   #116
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Large areas of eastern and northern Burma are outside government control, and Burma itself is unstable. This causes refugee crises in western Yunnan. Chinese-backed port projects on the Bay of Bengal exist to provide China with an outlet to receive Middle Eastern oil without passing through the Strait of Malacca.
A very valid point if you want to stir up trouble in China you would target the border provinces then claim they are just seeking autonomy etc then that gives me some degree of legitimacy , A basis for further demands then further escalation creating instability then a power vacuum.

Basically the Chinese would respond like Putin has with a wide ranging military operation to restore the status quo. Something more likely in the West than SW. After the drug cartel kidnapped then executed 13 Chinese nationals while trafficking drugs some years ago the Chinese military are there in force.

Somethings messages are best sent without picking up the phone.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 07:52 AM   #117
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[InKunming--New Kunming Construction] Mile(弥勒)-Mengzi(蒙自) Railway is estimated to start construction in the year, according to the Development and Reform Commission of Honghe Hani & Yi Autonomous Prefecture.
After its construction, trains connecting Kunming and Mengzi will run with a speed of 200 kilometers per hour. By then, it will only take 1 hour from Kunming to Mengzi by the new inter-city train.
According to the project plan, the 208-kilometer-long railway will cost an investment of 18 billion Yuan. It will depart from Kunming and end at Mengzi, passing by Shilin(石林), Mile(弥勒), Kaiyuan(开远) along the way.

Should form part of the line to the border with Vietnam.
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Old April 19th, 2014, 10:37 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by :jax: View Post

Your calculations, somewhat optimistically, assume a non-stop service running at top speed end-to-end. Given that there wouldn't be a lot of stops in the middle it isn't wildly optimistic (slower at the business ends, faster at the middle),
These calculations specify average speed, not whether it is nonstop or includes stops.
Train G79 travels Beijing-Guangzhou in 7:59. The nominal distance is 2298 km; even with the actual distance 2104 km, it still is 263 km/h average.
And it is NOT non-stop: it does make stops at Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Changsha.
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still that three-day ride sounds more likely than a two-day one or the theoretic one day one. But even 24 hours is a whole lot longer than 8-12 hours flight plus 2 hours hassle at the airport.
24 hours at 263 km/h average would cover about 6300 km. Guangzhou-Urumqi is 4684 km on old railway. So what would be a 24 hour trip from Guangzhou? Guangzhou-Astana?
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There is also the matter of cleaning. A jet looks pretty lived-in after 12 hours on the wing, even with the attendants continuously collecting the trash. We are talking 2-6 times the amount of time. Sinks wouldn't do it, we'd need showers, a first-class perk.
T38, Guangzhou-Urumqi, travels for 54 hours 47 minutes. How is the train cleaned? And how can the passengers clean?
Soft sleepers exist on that train. Deluxe soft sleepers do not. Are showers offered? And are toilets seat or squat ones?
T38 makes a total of 26 intermediate stops. Durations are 4, 4, 2, 3, 6 (Changsha), 2, 12 (Wuchang), 2, 2, 2, 11 (Zhengzhou), 8, 2, 15 (Xian), 18 (Baoji), 3, 4, 12 (Lanzhou), 16 (Wuwei), 4, 7, 12 (Liuyuan), 15 (Kumul South), 13 (Shanshan), 13 (Turpan). What are these long stops used for?
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Old April 19th, 2014, 07:11 PM   #119
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A very valid point if you want to stir up trouble in China you would target the border provinces then claim they are just seeking autonomy etc then that gives me some degree of legitimacy , A basis for further demands then further escalation creating instability then a power vacuum.
It causes much worse than that in Western Yunnan on the border with Myanmar, all far too grisly and beyond the scope of this forum.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 06:05 PM   #120
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It causes much worse than that in Western Yunnan on the border with Myanmar, all far too grisly and beyond the scope of this forum.
True indeed I mean to make the Pan Asian Railway feasible certain security concerns must be addressed.
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