China completes railway link to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

August 16, 2012


China completes railway link to Association of Southeast Asian Nations

The 88-mile Yuxi-Mengzi Railway is part of an international railway project

By Xinhua in Tonghai, Yunnan (China Daily)

Construction workers on Tuesday laid the last piece of a railway that will link southwest China’s Yunnan province with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries.

The Yuxi-Mengzi Railway has a total length of 141 km (88 miles) with a designed maximum speed of 120 km per hour (75 mph). It passes through 35 tunnels and crosses 61 bridges, which together account for 54.95 percent of the line’s total length.

The railway is part of the eastern line of the planned Pan-Asia Railway network, an international railway project that will also consist of central and western lines.

Funded by the Chinese Ministry of Railways and the Yunnan government, the railway has a total investment of 4.5 billion yuan ($ 707.4 million).

The railway is expected to become operational later this year and will boost land transportation between China and ASEAN countries.

The eastern route is designed to start in Kunming, capital of Yunnan, and pass through the cities of Yuxi, Mengzi and Hekou in Yunnan to connect with Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Singapore.

Construction in Yunnan of the eastern line’s last section, which will link Mengzi with the border city of Hekou, is going to plan, likely enabling the Sino-Vietnamese railway to become operational first in the Pan-Asia Railway network, said a local railway official.

The new line will be a modern replacement of the 100-year-old line that links Kunming with Haiphone of Vietnam, the first transnational railway in Southwest China, said Han Zhongping, deputy director of the Kunming railway bureau.

The 854-km (530 mile) Kunming-Haiphone line has a designed maximum speed of only 30 km per hour (18 mph). It is the world’s longest “narrow” line – one meter wide, compared to the standard 1.435-meter width.

Meanwhile, construction of several sections of the other two lines and also of lines linking major domestic cities like Shanghai is also under way.

Lu Dongfu, vice-minister of railways, said the huge investment on railway construction in Yunnan has major significance at a time when the country’s railway investment is recovering.

The projects in Yunnan will become part of the national strategy to open up the southwest and spur economic growth in ethnic group regions, according to Lu.

The robust construction is pushing the mountainous border province to the forefront of opening-up, said Liang Gongqing, head of the provincial railway construction inspection team. Railway investment over the past 8 years totalled 53.7 billion yuan, he added.

The expanding network will bring Yunnan closer to other parts of China and also provide a more efficient and convenient passage for exchange and trade with southeast Asia, Han said.


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on  August 8, 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Brunei Darussalam then joined on January 7, 1984, Viet Nam on  Julym28, 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on July 23, 1997, and Cambodia on April 30, 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN.

Brunei Darussalam

Head of State : His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah 
Capital : Bandar Seri Begawan
Language(s) : Malay, English
Currency : B$ (Brunei Dollar)


Head of State : His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni
Head of Government : Prime Minister Hun Sen
Capital : Phnom Penh
Language : Khmer
Currency : Riel


Head of State : President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Capital : Jakarta
Language : Indonesian
Currency : Rupiah

Head of State : President Choummaly Sayasone 
Head of Government : Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong
Capital : Vientiane
Language : Lao
Currency : Kip

Head of Government : The Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak
Capital : Kuala Lumpur
Language(s) : Malay, English, Chinese, Tamil
Currency : Ringgit 


Head of State : President Thein Sein
Capital : Nay Pyi Taw
Language : Myanmar
Currency : Kyat 


Head of State : President Benigno S. Aquino III
Capital : Manila
Language(s) : Filipino, English, Spanish
Currency : Peso


Head of State : President Tony Tan Keng Yam
Head of Government : Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Capital : Singapore
Language(s) : English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil
Currency : S$ (Singapore Dollar)

Head of State : His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Head of Government : Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
Capital : Bangkok
Language : Thai
Currency : Baht
Viet Nam

Head of State : President Nguyen Minh Triet
Head of Government : Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
Capital : Ha Noi
Language : Vietnamese
Currency : Dong

ASEAN Charter

The ASEAN Charter serves as a firm foundation in achieving the ASEAN Community by providing legal status and institutional framework for ASEAN. It also codifies ASEAN norms, rules and values; sets clear targets for ASEAN; and presents accountability and compliance.

The ASEAN Charter entered into force on 15 December 2008. A gathering of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers was held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta to mark this very historic occasion for ASEAN.

With the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter, ASEAN will henceforth operate under a new legal framework and establish a number of new organs to boost its community-building process. 

In effect, the ASEAN Charter has become a legally binding agreement among the 10 ASEAN Member States. It will also be registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations, pursuant to Article 102, Paragraph 1 of the Charter of the United Nations.

The importance of the ASEAN Charter can be seen in the following contexts:

■New political commitment at the top level
■New and enhanced commitments
■New legal framework, legal personality
■New ASEAN bodies
■Two new openly-recruited DSGs
■More ASEAN meetings
■More roles of ASEAN Foreign Ministers
■New and enhanced role of the Secretary-General of ASEAN
■Other new initiatives and changes

Source: ASEAN Secretariat


Video: Association of Southeast Asian Nations


Video: Myanmar to head Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2014


Video: ASEAN Community


Video: United States and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) July 2012


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