Five years ago, Wang Jing, a tycoon with close links to the Chinese government and Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s president announced a $50 billion plan to cut a 278-km long canal in the Central American isthmus (see “The New Cuba?” Business Standard, November 2014). Despite the scale of environmental damage it would cause, Ortega’s government quickly cleared the decks for the project, and counted on China’s reputation for rapid execution of big infrastructure projects to have the canal ready by 2020.

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