Recent reports of a proposed Chinese-built railway across Colombia which would mean bypassing the Panama Canal have provoked extreme reactions.
However, the head of the Panama Canal Authority said, “I don’t see that as a competition issue. We are a very important freight shipment hub, and shipping by sea is the most efficient method.”
China is proposing a 219-kilometer railway that would link the Pacific port of Buenaventura with the Atlantic Coast port of Cartagena in Colombia.
Yet the planned expansion of the Panama Canal would allow post-Panamax containers ship to use the canal, carrying more containers in one shipload than, say, 30 trains.
China Digital Times suggests a possible reason behind the proposed railway. China needs coal; Colombia has it and is willing to sell. For that the railway would be ideal.