Vietnam To Begin High-Speed Rail Projects to China by 2030

Vietnam plans to begin construction of two high-speed railway lines that will connect its capital, Hanoi, with China before 2030, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has announced.

This initiative is a reflection of the recently warming ties between the two neighbouring countries, which are both governed by Communist parties.

China is Vietnam’s most crucial trading partner and plays a vital role as a supplier for its manufacturing industry. Presently, a network of highways and two railway lines, now aging and in need of upgrades on the Vietnamese side, serve as links between the two nations.

A statement released by the ministry late Tuesday indicates that one of the proposed high-speed railways will stretch from the Vietnamese coastal cities of Haiphong and Quang Ninh, through Hanoi, and extend to Lao Cai province, situated on the border with China’s Yunnan province.

The second line is projected to connect Hanoi with Lang Son province, adjacent to China’s Guangxi region. This line will pass through areas densely populated with international manufacturing hubs, including those owned by Chinese companies.

The ministry has not provided further details on the projects.

Earlier this month, Vietnam revealed its intention to leverage China’s expertise in developing its first high-speed rail network, with officials being sent to work alongside Chinese railway firms.

Additionally, there are plans for an extensive high-speed rail project that would connect Hanoi with the economic powerhouse, Ho Chi Minh City.

During a recent trip to Beijing, Vuong Dinh Hue, the chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly, met with executives from Chinese railway companies. He was hosted by Xi Jinping.

This meeting came on the heels of the signing of several cooperation agreements, including those related to railway projects, during a visit to Hanoi by Chinese President Xi Jinping in December.

Vietnamese government data shows that trade between Vietnam and China saw a 22% increase in the first quarter of this year, amounting to $43.6 billion, compared to the same period last year.

Despite an ongoing maritime dispute in the South China Sea, the relations between the two countries have recently shown signs of easing.