SAN MIGUELITO, Nicaragua: Will China finally fulfill Nicaraguaâ€™s dream of an inter-ocean canal?
Geege Schuman stashed this in South America
Wider canalsBy 1985, global trade had encouraged construction of larger container ships, setting a standard named Panamax, the biggest ships the Panama Canal could handle. The Nicaragua canalâ€™s locks will allow much larger ships to pass through.
Panama Canalold locks
Panama Canalnew locks
Nicaragua CanalCould pass Triple E container ships
Neat! Nicaragua is Central America not South America right?
Enter the dragon
Nicaraguans have dreamed of a canal for generations. So have the Americans, since the beginning of the 1849 California Gold Rush, when tens of thousands of Americans took steamships to the mouth of the San Juan River on Nicaraguaâ€™s southeast border. They traveled up the river, across Lake Nicaragua and on to the Pacific coast to board vessels for California.
Near the end of the century, American engineers looked seriously at building a canal, taking water measurements along the river and in shallow Lake Nicaragua. But a postage stamp picturing an eruptingÂ Momotombo volcanoÂ â€“ one of Nicaraguaâ€™s 19 active volcanoes â€“ scared U.S. lawmakers and persuaded them to build a canal in Panama instead.
Wang Jing made his fortune in Chinese telecommunications. Now his HKND Group has been given the exclusive rights to develop a canal through Nicaragua.
Nicaraguaâ€™s dream never died, however. A handful of other proposals arose over the decades. But it wasnâ€™t until an opera singer made a fateful trip to Beijing earlier this decade that hopes rose anew. The opera singer was Laureano Ortega, one of the sons of Nicaraguan PresidentÂ Daniel Ortega, a former guerrilla commander whose most recent turn in power has found him mixing populist, anti-imperialist slogans with pro-business policies.
The younger Ortega, who studied at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Music in Milan, likes to sing parts in Puccini and Verdi operas. But he was wearing a different hat on that trip to Beijing. He was traveling as an adviser to ProNicaragua, an official investment promotion agency.
â€śHe talked about the possibility of the canal, and they were so interested,â€ť said Manuel Coronel Kautz, the chief of Nicaraguaâ€™s Canal Authority. Chinese officials sent Laureano Ortega to see the minister of infrastructure and authorities at the Bank of China, where he was told that private-sector tycoons would take the initiative.
China is making some positive changes in the world.Â
They have invested a lot into the economy of Africa, too.