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Mystery Chinese Firm To Tackle Nicaragua’s "Great Canal" Project

LADB Article ID: 79054
Category/Department: Nicaragua
Date: 2013-08-15
By: Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

Sticking to his grandiose promise of building an ocean-to-ocean canal through Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega has decided to place his faith—and a huge swath of national territory—in the hands of an untested Chinese firm whose mysterious owner, telecom tycoon Wang Jing, promises nothing less than to "change the world." This past June—much to the chagrin of opposition leaders, environmental groups, and other government critics—Ortega used his vast support in the Asamblea Nacional (AN) to quickly approve a concession deal that gives Wang’s HKND Group exclusive rights to "design, develop, engineer, finance, construct, possess, operate, maintain, and administer" the proposed canal. HKND, which is based in Hong Kong but registered in the Cayman Islands, has no major infrastructure-construction experience.

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