Published On: Sun, Jan 21st, 2024

China builds £2.7bn mega-port in country 10,000 miles away in trade boost for Xi Jinping | World | News


China is set to strengthen its trade foothold in South America with the inauguration of the Chancay cargo terminal, a £2.7 billion mega-port in Peru. The deepwater port, scheduled to open later this year, is a significant component of China’s decade-long “Belt and Road” initiative, aimed at expanding its economic influence globally.

The Chancay cargo terminal will provide China control over a crucial gateway to the resource-rich South American region, where it has surpassed the United States in trade for the past 10 years. The mega-port is strategically positioned to expedite the transit of goods from western Brazil and Peru to Asia, potentially cutting more than two weeks off the shipping time for some exporters.

This initiative is seen as a challenge to the United States and Europe as they work to counter China’s growing influence in Latin America. Chancay will be the first Beijing-controlled terminal in South America capable of receiving large cargo ships directly from Asia. China and Peru are located more than 10,000 miles apart.

Peru’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Juan Mathews Salazar, expressed optimism about Chancay’s potential, stating that the mega-port aims to transform Peru into a crucial commercial and port hub between South America and Asia.

The first phase of Chancay, predominantly controlled by China’s state-owned Cosco Shipping Ports, is expected to be completed in November 2024. Chinese President Xi Jinping is speculated to inaugurate the port during his anticipated visit to Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

José Adriano da Silva, a Brazilian agricultural businessman, expressed delight at the prospect of regional development in western Brazil and the acceleration of goods transport.

Talks between Peruvian and Brazilian officials are ongoing to address logistical, sanitary, and bureaucratic challenges for Brazilian lorries reaching the port easily.

The Chancay mega-port is part of China’s broader strategy to secure access to South American resources, particularly copper and lithium from the Andean region and soybeans and corn from Argentina and Brazil. As China’s trade advantage in the region continues to grow, the mega-port project is positioned to reinforce China’s powerful position in Peru and establish a strategic point of influence in South America.

Despite concerns about the project’s success depending on regional infrastructure improvements, including roads and railways, the Chancay port underscores China’s rising influence in the region, where the search for currency and funding is becoming increasingly tied to Chinese investment.



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