BANGKOK, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's parliament on Tuesday discusses the Chinese-Thai joint-investment framework of high speed train project.
Although the framework of the 480 billion-baht (15.4 billion U. S. dollars) joint-investment project was already approved by the cabinet on Sept. 7, it must gain the parliament's agreement before being discussed with the Chinese government.
Article 190 of Thailand's current constitution requires that any agreement to be made with other countries shall first gain approval from the National Assembly.
There were at least sixty MPs on waiting list for the debate.
According to the framework, there are five possible routes of high speed train linking Bangkok with other provinces in various parts of Thailand -- Bangkok-northeastern Nongkhai, Bangkok- central Rayong, Bangkok-southernmost Padang Beza, Bangkok- northeastern Ubon Ratchathani of and Bangkok-northern Chiang Mai.
If the framework passed in favor of the parliament Tuesday, the public hearings would be arranged accordingly before the government would be able to negotiate cooperation plan with the Chinese government.
A preliminary discussion on this railway project was initially made between Thailand's former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thuagsuban and senior officials from China's railway department during Suthep's visit to China late July.
A high-speed train route will link China, Laos and Thailand. The railway development will focus on passenger transportation at the preliminary stage and for freight later on.
On September 15, the parliamentary meeting reached the resolution to postpone the discussion on framework to October 19.