China Buys Panama’s Largest Port

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Caption: Colón, Panama (LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Consolidating power in the Panama Canal

For more than 100 years, the Panama Canal has controlled the bulk of goods transferred between the Pacific and the Atlantic. For much of that history, this monumental feat of engineering was under the control of the United States. But this is no longer the case.

In May, Panama’s largest port was purchased by a Chinese company called Landbridge Group.

Margarita Island Port, on the canal’s Atlantic side, offers the company intimate access to one of the most important goods distribution centers in the world.

While promising to upgrade the ailing Panama facilities and offer more trade with America’s distant east coast, there is substantial reason to hesitate at the purchase of such a critical trade hub.

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The new ‘silk road’, a rail link from China’s factories to heart of Europe

FRANKFURT: One of the world’s longest railways — a “modern-day silk road” — covers some 11,000 kilometres (24,000 miles) en route from the Chinese megacity of Chongqing to Duisburg, a key commercial hub in western Germany.

On Saturday, as part of his landmark visit to Germany, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the last stop on the “Yuxinou” rail line, an industrial feat that promises to revolutionise transport between Europe and Asia.

Duisburg is a steel-making town of around half a million on the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers that boasts the world’s biggest inland port and is one of Germany’s most important transport and commercial hubs.

Despite the vast distances between them, it takes just 16 days for trains to travel to Duisburg from Chongqing, a sprawling metropolitan symbol of rising China with a population of more than 30 million. Continue reading