Nicaragua announces start of China-backed canal to rival Panama
Nicaragua has announced the start of work on a $50 billion shipping canal, an infrastructure project backed by China that aims to rival Panama’s waterway.
Nicaragua’s government says the proposed 278-kilometre canal, due to be operational by around 2020, would raise annual economic growth to more than 10 per cent, revitalising the economy of the second-poorest country in the Americas.
The canal could also give China a major foothold in Central America, a region long dominated by the United States, which completed the Panama Canal a century ago.
The canal itself will be between 230 and 520 meters wide.
Ships pass through the Gatun locks of the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal was first completed by the US over 100 years ago and remains one of the busiest waterways in the world