June 21st, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo believes that China’s involvement in the proposed Nicaragua Canal – a project that would dwarf the Panama Canal – is advantageous to Costa Rica.
“China has assured us they will do nothing to harm Costa Rica,” Castillo said.
According to Castillo, Costa Rica’s relationship with China is a “guarantee” that the project would not cause harm to Costa Rica, and as a result it would be premature to take action against Nicaragua over the Canal, as Costa Rican environmentalists have called for.
“We trust China’s word […] China’s involvement is a guarantee, because it ensures us to some extent that necessary care will be taken so that Costa Rica will not be affected,” Castillo said.
Castillo said some concerns that surround the project, which would involve Lake Nicaragua, would be changes to the flow of the Rio San Juan, as Costa Rica maintains navigation rights on the river, as well as effects on the flow of the Rio Colorado. Castillo said that Costa Rica would seek information once a route has been officially announced.
Environmentalists say that the use of Lake Nicaragua as part of the Canal project would affect river basins and cut off water flows into the Rio San Juan, causing a “serious impact,” and potentially causing irreversible damage to forest ecosystems that are supplied water from the rivers.