May 22, 2015

Signs, Portents and Small Victories

There is an interesting interview with the Latvian Defense Minister here, which discusses amongst other things, that the little country is spending 27% of their budget on defense in light of current events.

Actually, China just dumped $50 billion dollars to help Brazil build infrastructure including a Transcontinental railroad to take Brazilian resources to ports in Peru (for shipment to China). It's unclear what other agreements are involved but with  Argentina getting money and military kit gifted to them as well and  Namibia getting a Chinese port, the South Atlantic is going to be a darned cozy place for Chinese ships.

Russia is playing chess, China is playing Risk and we are playing golf. 

One other minor thing....

Instapundit is reporting tonight that...

...but you already knew that...because Brickmuppet Blog had that story on May Third

See? There's a bright side to everything.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 11:50 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 180 words, total size 3 kb.

1 And we're not warning anybody off the American hemisphere, either.

And yes, it does look like that thing with China in Panama and Nicaragua was related. Great, just what we needed.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Sat May 23 05:24:15 2015 (ZJVQ5)

2 I would not oversell the railroad. The Tran-Siberian railroad has the highest utilization in the world. It has 3 to 4 lines on its whole length where Chinese influx hops on it around Blagoveschensk. Yet it only delivers about 7% of the shopbourne traffic from China to Europe and it took a century to construct and continuously improve for the smooth flow. Brazil's trade to China is going to be carried mostly by ship, especially if we're talking raw materials.

That said, Chinese money funds a number of interesting railroads, such as the one they mean to build across the northern Mexico for the trade with Texas. The limited capacity of Panama canal hurts them enough to make all these railroads feasible.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Sat May 23 12:10:03 2015 (RqRa5)

3 And Panama is about to start using the bigger locks they've constructed to allow the larger container ships through. So thee might be some interesting competition going on.

Posted by: Mauser at Sat May 23 17:34:16 2015 (TJ7ih)


The real problem for the Panama Canal is water. The way locks work, a lot of water is released from above to down below for every ship that goes through. That water is coming from that lake which is in the middle of the canal, and thus traffic in the canal is limited by the amount of rainfall in the watershed that feeds that lake.

Unless they do something like building massive pumps to move water back up to the top, I think I remember that the limit with the current locks is about 100 ships per year. If they build larger locks, they'll use more water per ship.

The proposed Nicaragua canal has exactly the same issue. (The Suez canal does not, because the entire thing is at sea level so there aren't any locks.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sun May 24 11:42:06 2015 (+rSRq)

5 Did you mean 100 ships per day? Because that would be more like it.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Mon May 25 20:40:03 2015 (RqRa5)

6 I meant 100 per year, but I was really way wrong. In 2009 there were 12,855 transits, which is an average of 35 per day.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Mon May 25 22:09:36 2015 (+rSRq)

7 That Wikipedia article says they are planning to reuse about 60% of the water on the new, larger set of locks.

Posted by: Rick C at Tue May 26 09:53:59 2015 (ECH2/)

Hide Comments | Add Comment

What colour is a green orange?

35kb generated in CPU 0.04, elapsed 0.1889 seconds.
78 queries taking 0.1597 seconds, 347 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.