China’s Building a Megaport in the US Backyard

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China is building a megaport that could challenge U.S. influence in a resource-rich region in Washington’s backyard.

While the US concentrates on lands much farther away, China is producing its influence in South America. The port is likely to upend South American trade with Asia.

The Chancay deep-water port is important enough to Beijing that Chinese leader Xi Jinping is expected to inaugurate it at the end of the year, according to the Wall Street Journal, during his first trip to the continent since the pandemic.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Majority-owned by the giant China Ocean Shipping group, known as Cosco, Chancay promises to speed trade between Asia and South America, eventually benefiting customers as far away as Brazil with shorter sailing times across the Pacific for everything from blueberries to copper. 

As nations worldwide shudder at a new flood of cheap Chinese manufactured goods, the port could open new markets for its electric vehicles and other exports. China is already the top trade partner for most of South America.

“This will further make it easier for the Chinese to extract all of these resources from the region, so that should be concerning,” Army Gen. Laura Richardson, who heads the U.S. Southern Command, said last month at a Florida International University security conference.

“This changes the game,” said Eric Farnsworth, a former high-ranking State Department diplomat who now leads the Washington office of the Council of the Americas think tank. “It really platforms China in a major new way in South America as the gateway to global markets. It is not just a commercial issue at that point; it is a strategic issue.”

THERE’S ANOTHER PORT

Peruvian officials are using the Chancay example and a port close to Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia to grow the country’s potential as a regional trade hub with geopolitics in mind.

They are pitching Port Corio to the south to US investors. It’s in the very early stages.

“It would be a port that could be a counterweight to China’s Chancay project,” Alfredo Ferrero, Peru’s ambassador to the United States, told Bloomberg in an interview following a presentation to executives in New York.

“One hundred percent of Lima’s electricity is owned by China, many of the copper mining projects are owned by China. China will have the largest port in South America,” Ferrero said. “Objectively, that is the situation and the United States has noticed this. But it’s not enough to notice it, action is needed.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia ditched the petrodollar. That will be disastrous for the US. While we’re weaponizing our financial system and getting involved in wars, the world could leave us behind. At least our military has their pronouns straight.


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