Nicaragua Wants to Build a Rival to the Panama Canal

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 9 2014 12:50 PM

Nicaragua Wants to Build a Rival to the Panama Canal

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Wang Jing, head of the Chinese company that is set to build the canal.

Photo by Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters

Nicaragua has announced plans to build a 173-mile-long, $40 billion route between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean.* From the Associated Press:

Representatives of HKND, the China-based consortium set to build the canal and owned by the businessman Wang Jing, said on Monday that the canal will be 173 miles long, 65 miles of which are across Lake Nicaragua.
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The deal offered to the Chinese company appears quite generous, according to a piece in Nature:

Included in the concession are the rights to build and operate industrial centres, airports, a rail system and oil pipelines, as well as land expropriation and the rights to natural resources found along the canal route.

The Nature piece asserts that canal construction "could create an environmental disaster" for a variety of reasons ranging from the introduction of invasive species to the destruction of habitats to, perhaps most consequentially from a political standpoint, damage to Lake Nicaragua, a major source of irrigation and drinking water and a tourist attraction.

h/t The Wire

Correction, July 9, 2014: This post originally misspelled Caribbean.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

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