China's Eagerness to Export Its High-speed Rail Expertise to ASEAN Members

  • Yu Hong
Keywords: China, ASEAN, high-speed rail, infrastructure development, ASEAN connectivity, outward investment


The Chinese government is adopting a 'going-out' strategy to promote China's high-end rail technology overseas and strengthen its global competitiveness. This article examines China's high-speed rail diplomacy towards the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and uncovers the link between China's ambitious foreign policies towards the ASEAN and both national pride and commercial stakes in promoting high-speed rail in the region. It analyses the rationale behind China's high-speed rail development proposals for the ASEAN in the context of the rise of China and rivalry between China and Japan. China is especially eager to participate in the construction of high-speed railroads with ASEAN members. The high-speed rail link can forge regional economic integration within the ASEAN. For ASEAN member states, China is a key external investor and contractor for their infrastructure development. Nevertheless, China is facing serious challenges to the realization of its proposals.