China Historic Bonds

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Bond Certificate

Bond Certificate Image

Non-Interest Bearing Bond for Denomination £100

The Malay Peninsula Exploration Syndicate Ltd. was incorporated in London on 7th November 1889. The main objective of the company was to obtain a concession to construct a canal across the Malay Peninsula which encompasses a land mass running roughly north-south and containing the southern tip of Myanmar, southern Thailand and the Malaysian peninsula.

This canal was referred to as the Kra-Canal, mainly because the original idea was to construct the canal in southern Thailand using the Kra Isthmus waterway as that location was the narrowest part of the Malay Peninsula with a distance of approx. 44 kilometres from the Gulf of Thailand to the Kra Isthmus and access to the Andaman Sea.

Later investigation showed that alternative routes, although longer, were more viable as the land was much flatter. However, although the idea has been proposed by successive governments, the Kra-Canal has never been constructed.

This certificate is not per se linked to China, but the relevance has to do with historical trade routes from China to the West. All ships sailing westwards from the South China Sea have to sail around the Malay Peninsula, past Singapore and up the Straits of Malacca. The construction of the Kra-Canal would have dramatically reduced the sailing time from China to the West and negated the need to sail the dangerous sea passage along the Straits of Malacca.

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