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Japan and China battle for rail projects in Southeast Asia

Safe but costly shinkansen a tough sell, but Beijing's terms a turnoff for some

High-speed trains are parked at a maintenance facility in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou. China is competing with Japan for railway projects across Asia.   © Getty Images

BANGKOK Thailand and Malaysia are set to start talks on the construction of a 1,500km high-speed railway that would connect the two countries' capitals and enhance regional connectivity. If it goes forward, the project would also set the stage for another battle between Chinese and Japanese infrastructure companies.

Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Thailand's transport minister, told the Nikkei Asian Review that he hopes to meet with his Malaysian counterpart soon. "We will discuss how we can get foreign countries involved in the project like 'China or Japan' or 'China and Japan,'" he said. "But Malaysia seems to have more favor toward China."

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