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Panama Canal at Crossroads
The Wall Street Journal ^ | Wednesday, January 7, 2004 | NEIL KING JR.

Posted on 01/07/2004 9:54:44 AM PST by presidio9

Edited on 04/22/2004 11:50:45 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

How many Chinese bras -- and televisions and Barbie dolls and VCRs -- can fit through the Panama Canal?

It's a question bedeviling canal authorities and many huge U.S. retailers who are betting on the waterway to get goods from Asia to the East Coast. Booming Chinese exports, and the increasing popularity of the all-water route from Asia to the Atlantic seaboard, made 2003 the busiest and most profitable year in the canal's 90-year history.


(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: china; latinamericalist; panamacanal; trade
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To: Jeff Head
"The canal could be defended by the US..."

I am not sure I agree. The canal is so fragile mechanically (locks, dams) that it is hard to conceive of china not finding some way to do damage if that was their desire no matter what sort of hardware we had in the region. Heck, a traffic route runs 50-100 yards from the northeast chamber of Pedro Miguel. A road runs THROUGH gatun lock's north chamber.

"particularly the Chinese, are in a position now to militarily hurt us by denying it to us. That is all."

Agreed on the status-quo.
41 posted on 03/08/2004 11:47:47 AM PST by WoofDog123
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To: WoofDog123
Note my prior comment:

presuming we had the control of enough land, air and sea space around it

With that in mind, if we wanted to secure it, we would alleviate the issues you spoke of. But we have chosen to go the other direction.

42 posted on 03/08/2004 12:25:04 PM PST by Jeff Head
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To: WoofDog123
Does not Hutchinson Wampoa provide the Canal Management services? While the general maanger is Mr. Alberto Aleman Zubieta, I believe there is a contract for maintainence where Hutchinson Wampoa provides day to day operational maintainence as the prime contractor. That is a cery effective means of controling the Canal.
43 posted on 03/08/2004 12:55:13 PM PST by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: Jeff Head
"presuming we had the control of enough land, air and sea space around it"

Even then, the canal is still vulnerable to non-conventional assault, thus my comment about the fact that the locks are very close to residential areas, road, etc., at several points. the level of alert needed to prevent the likelihood of this via large-scale roadblocks, obstacles, etc., is so high that we would have to be at war already AND have indications of a threat to the canal for it to happen.

It might very well be defensible against a traditional military strike, but the enemy wouldn't have to limit themselves to this.
44 posted on 03/09/2004 7:51:21 AM PST by WoofDog123
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To: Beelzebubba
Experts say the bill could approach $8 billion,

20 billion is my guess. New locks would allow the current canal to continue to be used. Are we going to build it so the next Rat President can give it to China, like Carter did with the first one?

45 posted on 03/09/2004 7:56:31 AM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: WoofDog123
If we decided to do so...and if the conditions I mrentioned were met...we have the ability to defend it against both traditional and asymetrical threats IMHO.

What we are lacking is the will...particularly in the political circles.

Just my opinion on the matter.

This entire scenario figures rather heavily into the first three volumes of my Dragon's Fury Series of novels.

46 posted on 03/09/2004 8:36:43 AM PST by Jeff Head
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