Posts Tagged ‘Wang Jing’

Ground broken for rival to the Panama Canal

December 23, 2014

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Ground was broken officially yesterday for a Chinese-financed canal across Nicaragua which, if completed, would be longer, deeper and wider than the Panama Canal.

The $50 billion project is to be financed by a Hong Kong company, the Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Group, which is controlled by a Chinese billionaire named Wang Jing.

The groundbreaking was mainly symbolic.  Engineering designs are scheduled to be submitted early next year and excavation to begin late next year.  Completion is scheduled for 2019 or 2020.

Whether the project actually will be built is uncertain.  There’s doubt as to whether Wang Jing, who is said to have made his fortune in telecommunications, is capable of financing and completing the project, and whether the Chinese government secretly stands behind him.

Many grass-roots Nicaraguans oppose the project, because it threatens Lake Nicaragua, the nation’s chief source of fresh water, and because it means taking the property of small farmers by eminent domain.

But if it is built, it would give China an important strategic foothold in the Western Hemisphere.

The United States spent more than $800 billion invading Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction that weren’t there and ties to Al Qaeda that didn’t exist.  China’s financing of construction projects is a much more cost-effective way of projecting its power.

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A Chinese Man, a $50 Billion Plan and a Canal to Reshape Nicaragua by Carrie Kahn for National Public Radio.

Nicaragua’s Rival to Panama Canal Set to Start Dec. 22 by Michael McDonald for Bloomberg News.

Nicaragua launches construction of inter-ocean canal by BBC News.

Nicaragua breaks ground on canal project by Al Jazeera.