THE BAD NEWS IT WILL BE LARGELY OWNED BY CHINA, WHICH BY THE WAY HAS THE OPERATING CONTRACT ON THE PANAMA CANAL.The final potential route for the proposed Nicaragua canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific was announced Tuesday July 8, 2014. The announcement was by the developer HKND based out of Hong Kong. The proposed route would run 173 miles from the mouth of the river Brito on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua to Punta Gorda on the Caribbean .HKND CEO Wang Jing calls the proposed project "the biggest project built in the history of humanity." Indeed the project would be three times the size of the Panama Canal. The Chinese really love their superlatives. That's why they are trying to get to the moon even though the U.S. did it decades ago and a more intelligent use of funds would be in cooperative international space endeavor, but apparently China thinks "Super Powers go to the moon" so they are off and running. Despite China's assertion that they have a vital national interest in the Arctic Northwest passage, despite the rapidly finishing completion of the Panama Canal enlargement, despite the fact that many U.S. ports can't actually handle the largest ships that might select a Nicaragua Canal route, the Chinese appear to be moving forward on the Nicaragua Canal. This seems an especially dumb move in light of the fact that a Chinese company has the operating contract for the Panama Canal. Why injure the profits of the Panama Canal operation so much of which now flow to Chinese coffers?
Well first and probably foremost in the Chinese mind the United States even though bumped from the operating contract for the canal we paid for and built, still has treaty rights to defend the canal. The U.S. won't be getting any such rights from Nicaragua. Second the Chinese are climate change skeptics not being as subject to political correctness as the U..S. government, they don't really believe that anything really dramatic is happening in the high Arctic. They know as well we do here at the AAB that a few seasons of reduced ice cover doesn't make a new sea route. They know that we are now heading back into a cooling period, the North West Passage is probably not the reality that laymen think. More over the Chinese probably share our view that even if the passage opened it would still be seasonal, subject to a lot of weather related issues and probably never would be a serious competitor for Central American canal routes. The Chinese know as we reported previously that overall vessel traffic to, vice through, the Arctic will increase regardless of changes in seasonal ice cover. That traffic is servicing the searches for new oil and protein sources up there. So China runs her "SNOW DRAGON" impressive Ice Breaker just to keep a finger in the Arctic pie where she has no coast. China is after all, the Middle Kingdom and intends to draw all nations to her self ....as vassal states. Of course she'll have to compete with the ISIS which has an Islamic version of the same ambition.
But the Nicaragua Canal would be something. The cost today is anticipated at $40 billion , expect cost over runs. Once completed the canal as designed could accommodate Maersk Triple E class ships carrying 18,000 shipping containers and many of the world's largest tankers. Even the newly expanding Panama Canal can't handle these ships. Canal fees can't be cheap to make back costs in anything like a timely fashion. But that's OK, China has first call on all of the income of its citizens who have little say about their taxes, or how tax money is spent, not unlike U.S. citizens.
According to Nicaraguan officials their canal ( owned and operated by China) isn't anticipating competing with the Panama Canal, instead Nicaraguan authorities claim that they intend to compliment and collaborate with the Panama Canal. It is reported that certain Panamanian students are actually preparing for work on the Nicaraguan Canal. Cooperation will of course reach its zenith whenever Panama rescinds the right of the U.S. to defend the canal it built. Russia is also a capital partner in the project. The United States has no participation. So the Dragon and the Bear are plowing a canal through Central America and according to all concerned in the project, it is none of our business. We've heard that before , remember it wasn't us who started the Panama Canal, we finished it.
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