China Planning Panama Canal Alternative

China is in talks to build an alternative to the Panama Canal that would link Colombia's Atlantic and Pacific coasts by rail -- a move that Bogotá also hopes will spur Washington to push for Congressional approval of a US-Colombia free-trade pact. The 220 km. (137 mi.) overland route would be three times the length of the Panama Canal, but Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia's president, says Chinese studies suggest the cost for transporting a ton of material is competitive. (More at CNN.com . . . )

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