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G7 Countries Are Going to Learn That Challenging China on Infrastructure is a Lot Easier Said Than Done

Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railway Line 1 under construction. The line will be opened in 2020 and is 83 percent financed by Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The Saigon Opera visible in the background. Photo by epixx

When I moved to Vietnam in 2012, Japan had just broken ground on the country’s first subway system in the southern commercial hub of Saigon. Back then, there was a lot of excitement around ambitious plans to build half a dozen lines within a decade.

Well, it’s 2021, almost ten years later, and they’re still working on getting just that one line built and no one really knows when that’s even going to happen.

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