Arguments against the construction of Thai and Laotian high-speed rail based merely on passenger numbers and revenue projections are lazy arguments and are made primarily by a West otherwise unable to compete with China’s growing influence and role in Asia – a region the US saw itself maintaining primacy over for another century.
Despite its noble-sounding proclamations, the true goal of the U.S. government is to prevent a resolution to the disputes among neighbors in Southeast Asia. Noh highlighted the fact that, “China and all the other ASEAN nations were in the process of negotiating and resolving their disputes amicably, until the US, weaponizing lawfare, concocted with the Philippines in 2015 a fraudulent case about the South China Sea in a paid-for farce of a private tribunal that was later marketed as a UN ruling (it wasn’t).”
Mike Pompeo’s speech to the ASEAN summit was a textbook example of the oldest imperialist trick in the book: divide and conquer. But the reality is clear — the U.S. government is a friend to no one other than Wall Street and the ultra-rich, and causes chaos wherever it intervenes.