China’s New Silk Road Is the Nicaragua Canal

My first question as I read this was why another canal through Nicaragua or any other Central American country?  What is the purpose and what would be the advantage? Wikipedia addressed this sort of 

Despite the operation of the Panama Canal, which opened in 1914, interest in a Nicaragua canal has continued. With emergence of globalization, an increase in commerce and the cost of fuel, and the limitations of the Panama Canal, the concept of a second canal across the American land bridge became more attractive, and in 2006 the president of Nicaragua, Enrique Bolaños, announced an intention to proceed with such a project.[16] Even with the Panama Canal expansion project, which began commercial operation to modern New Panamax vessels on 26 June 2016,[17] some ships would be too big for the Panama Canal.

Okay, so the older structure of the Panama Canal, built in 1914, is too small for the newer vessels.  But instead of drudging a new canal, why not just upgrade existing structures? Wouldn’t that be cheaper?  I don’t know.  But those conjuring the project are selling the benefits whatever those might be.

What if the new Nicaraguan Canal is bigger, better, and more efficient than the Panama Canal?  What if the passage time is cut in half?  Ouch.  That would put a dent in Panama’s revenue. 

Initial findings of the commercial analysis conducted by HKND Group indicate that the combined effect of growth in east–west trade and in ship sizes could provide a compelling argument for the construction of a second canal, substantially larger than the expanded Panama Canal, across Central America. Within 10 to 15 years,[when?] growth in global maritime trade is expected to cause congestion and delays in transit through the Panama Canal without a complementary route through the isthmus. Additionally, by 2030, the volume of trade that a Nicaragua Canal could serve will have grown by 240%.[26]

But who can or would deny the ambitions of a Chinese billionaire?

by Nick Giambruno at International Man

Nicaragua_canal_proposals_-_de.svg
The various routes proposed over the centuries for the Panama Canal.  The proposed HKND [Hong Kong Nicaraguan Canal Development] Canal will follow the route represented by the green line, south of Blue Fields.
It’s one of the great engineering achievements in history…

At 48 miles long, the Panama Canal cuts through a narrow strip of land in Central America.

It links up the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, allowing ships to pass through the landmass instead of sailing around a whole continent.

Ships pay dearly to use this shortcut… up to $375,000 for a one-way toll.

It’s worth the price.

There’s only one other route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans: a 7,872-mile journey around the tip of South America.

This trip can take weeks and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel.

The U.S. built the Panama Canal in the early 1900s. At a cost of $9 billion in today’s dollars, it was the most expensive construction project in U.S. history at the time.

So when other countries (including Germany and Japan) tried to build a second canal in nearby Nicaragua, the U.S. wouldn’t have it. A second canal, just 500 miles away, would dilute its value.

In 1912, the U.S. military even occupied Nicaragua to make sure there would be no Nicaraguan canal.

And there never was.

But that’s all about to change…

The Chinese are preparing to build a Nicaraguan Canal. Like the Panama Canal, it will be a shortcut for ships to pass through Central America.

If all goes to plan, China will finish its canal in about 10 years.

And here’s the thing…

China’s Nicaraguan Canal is just a small piece of a much larger strategy of building strategic infrastructure to bypass U.S. control.

The focal point of this strategy is a project called the “New Silk Road.” And if China has its way, the New Silk Road will help China dethrone the U.S. as the dominant world power.

The New Silk Road is the biggest story you’re not hearing about. The U.S. media has barely made a peep about it. Maybe because it’s just too big and complex to fit into soundbites…

Keep reading . . . .

According to Wikipedia, the status on the canal seems to have stalled and the key financial backer lost 80% of his wealth.

As of March 2016, no significant construction has taken place.[1] No “major works” such as dredging will take place until after a Pacific Ocean wharf is finished and the wharf’s construction will not start until sometime after August 2016.[1]

On 3 April 2016, Suzanne Daley, writing in the New York Times, reported that progress on the project seemed stalled.[15] Daley reported that Nicauraguan President Daniel Ortega hadn’t mentioned the Canal in months.[15]She reported that cows were still browsing for grass in the field where Wang held his ground-breaking.[15] She reported that Wang had financial setbacks unrelated to the Nicauragua project, and that he had lost eighty percent of his net worth.

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