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China to Build a Atlantic-Pacific Railway in Columbia

Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos recently told Financial Times that China has proposed building a railway to connect Colombia’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts as an alternative to the Panama Canal. The US$7.6 billion project, to be funded by the Chinese Development Bank, will be operated by the China Railway Group.

China’s ambassador to Colombia, Gao Zhengyue, told president Santos, “Colombia has a very important strategic position. We view the country as a port to the rest of Latin America.” According to Financial Times, “The 220km ‘dry canal’ would run from the Pacific to a new city near Cartagena where imported Chinese goods would be assembled for re-export throughout the Americas. Colombia-sourced raw materials would make the return journey to China.” 

Source: Financial Times, February 13, 2011