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The Big Story

Why China is determined to connect Southeast Asia by rail

Planned 3,000-km rail network raises debt, sovereignty concerns

MITSURU OBE and MARIMI KISHIMOTO, Nikkei staff writers | ASEAN

TOKYO/LUANG PRABANG, Laos -- When Japanese trading house Itochu and train maker Hitachi withdrew from a soon-to-be-decided $7 billion tender for a high-speed rail project near Bangkok, it appeared to be another victory for China and its grand plans to connect Southeast Asia with railways.

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