China Opens Rail Line, Trade Route to Indian Ocean Through Myanmar

China last month inaugurated a new trade route via ship, road and rail running through Myanmar in keeping with Beijing’s dogged building spree across the Southeast Asian country to reach the Indian Ocean and points west.

Analysts say it is one more strand in the ever-expanding web of transportation channels pulling China and Southeast Asia closer under the banner of Beijing’s sprawling Belt and Road Initiative while boosting China’s sway across the region.

Whether the new route actually pays off, they add, may hinge on whether and when new rail lines are laid across Myanmar, a challenge made tougher by the violent turmoil the country has tipped into since its Feb. 1 coup.

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Zsombor Peter