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China's Plan to Dig a Canal Across Nicaragua

China's Plan to Dig a Canal Across Nicaragua | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"By the end of this year, digging could begin on a waterway that would stretch roughly 180 miles across Nicaragua to unite the Atlantic and Pacific oceans."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America; China is strategically working on strengthening their geopolitical position in the South China Sea and all international waters.  This is one reason why a Chinese firms are planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's.  This article highlights the reasons for concern (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what else Maps 101 has to offer). 


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

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David Lizotte's curator insight, February 3, 1:50 PM

Just as I finished scooping the past article dealing with this topic, I scroll down and see this story. I had to read it. I wanted to learn more about such a disastrous plan to build a canal. In return I found out that the plan has yet to be revealed. I most certainly do not change my opinion which I firmly expressed in my last scoop, in regards to this canal being idiotic.

An issue that stood out in this article deals with the Nicaraguan government not holding bids for the job and HKND walking out on top. It seems as if a few backdoor deals concerning a lot of money were made. Bold assumption I know... but so is assuming a canal will be built in Nicaragua! Ba-Zing

I am also interested in learning the credibility of HKND. It seems like an interesting company which is most certainly intertwined somehow with the Chinese Government. How else would an individual, Wang Jing,  come up with the 40 billion dollar purse to pursue this project. 

The potential environmental issues are infinite and effect other environments, both near and far geographically speaking, in a variety of negative ways. Its good to see a team of experts coming together to investigate the canals effects on the area. 

Lastly, the article clearly states how there is no need for the canal due to the Panama Canals newest developments and improvements. The canal can accommodate larger barge's thus increase trade and revenue. 

THe Nicaragua Canal is not a good idea.  

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 6, 3:26 PM

The Chinese want to compete with the US on overseas trading and to do so they want to build their own canal through Nicaragua to rival the Panama Canal to the south.  This will lower the quality of Nicaragua’s drinking water but will greatly bolster the economy. If Nicaragua gets the opportunity to possess a major canal that can fit trader ships previously unable to fit through the Panama Canal this will be great for the people. Nicaragua has a very low country ranking so any economic support that this canal can generate will improve the living conditions of the inhabitants. 

Kendra King's curator insight, April 27, 4:53 PM

Form the perspective of the Nicaraguan Government, this project is a chance to get ahead economically regardless of the consequences to the environment and its population. As the article mentions, this is the second poorest country in the region, but the project could triple the economy's growth and strengthen employment. As a government leader who wants to be a more powerful country, a few causalities on the quest to economic prowess is nothing.  Especially because the government doesn't really have any other alternative ways to expand the economy that quickly with so much potential success. 

 

I think this project is part of a common trend seen throughout this class. When I read this it reminded me of the workers safety video in which Chinese companies let their employees jump on a crane without safety gear in order to cheaply complete a project.  Or how China allows their factories to run despite the mass pollution the industry is causing. It isn't like China is the only country to ever cut corners either. Before the US and Europe become switch from the industrial sector to the service sector, these countries employment laws and environmental laws were horrible (some could argue they still are actually). One of the scientist in this article, Myers, even touched on this point by saying he "there’s a touch of hypocrisy in outsiders from industrialized countries preaching environmental purity." Hypocritical or not, I really wish countries would learn the harm that came from the actions past industrial societies took to get ahead. Although, given the government's stance on this project, I really don't think that was the lesson learned. 

 

As a citizen of Nicaragua this is incredibly worrisome.  Their is the potential that the ecosystem is disturbed, which would have  many unpredictable consequences. Furthermore, the drinking supply could be destroyed. Since this area is already poor, the families of this area would have a hard time just up and leaving their homes. So for the sake of the citizens, I really hope that if the project moves forward there won't be many adverse complications. 

Geography Education
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Curated by Seth Dixon