China invited Egypt, Guinea, Tajikistan, Mexico and Thailand as guest countries for the BRICS Plus summit.[Special coverage]
Thailand, located in the land-and-sea intersection along the route of the "Belt & Road Initiative", will undoubtedly become an important cooperation partner of China in the construction process. One key project linked to the China-proposed initiative is a multi-billion-dollar high-speed railway line with Thailand.
Thailand has recently sought closer relations with China, such as in defense procurement and infrastructure development. A 44-billion-U.S.-dollars plan to add infrastructure and upgrade industry on its eastern seaboard can link up with China's Belt and Road Initiative, as part of a push to encourage economic growth.
Analysts see the rail line as an extension of China's One Belt, One Road initiative – an initiative that aims to reshape intercontinental trade through a network of maritime and land links. They say the railway will be a game changer and offer the region significant economic potential and a boost in Chinese foreign direct investment.
After years of delays in negotiations and bumps in the road, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha used has managed to hasten the delayed 5.2-billion-U.S.-dollars high-speed rail joint venture with China. It is a vision that will soon become a tangible reality.