HK Billionaire Has No Intention To Control Canal

Friday, October 22, 1999
Tensions surrounding the turnover of the Panama Canal from U.S. to Panamanian authority are running high. Last week, Hong Kong-based billionaire Li Ka-Shing said he had no intention of taking control of the Panama Canal, as suggested by some U.S. lawmakers. Li was responding for the first time personally to charges by U.S. Senate Majority leader Trent Lott (R-Miss) that his company, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., could put a strangle-hold on the strategic waterway. "I have no intention to control the Panama Canal," Li said. "This is a joke but I don't want to attack anyone." The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee is expected soon to discuss the right of a Hutchison subsidiary to run two container ports at the Atlantic and Pacific entrances of the canal. The United States will hand over the Panama Canal to Panama on December 31, ending a 96-year military presence in the Central American country. In August, Lott wrote to U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, saying that "U.S. naval ships will be at the mercy of Chinese-controlled pilots and could even be denied passage through the canal by Hutchison, an arm of the People's Liberation Army". Li said he appreciated "the American government, the White House, the military department, they have many times made it very clear ... we have no right to control the canal." Hutchison had rejected Lott's allegations in August, saying that it had no influence over the canal's operation or shipping traffic. Lott had complained in the letter to Cohen sent on August 1 that Hutchison's operation of container ports at each end of the canal was a security threat and a sign of China's growing influence over the waterway. "This administration is allowing a scenario to develop where U.S. national security interests could not be protected without confronting the Chinese communists in the Americas," wrote Lott. Li rose from rags to riches in Hong Kong's property market. He has close ties with the communist government in Beijing but Hutchison has denied any connection to the PLA. Hutchison is one of Hong Kong's biggest blue chip companies, with extensive holdings around the world. It is 49.97 percent owned by property developer Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd.
Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Golden Ocean and Knightsbridge Complete Merger

The merger between Knightsbridge Shipping Limited and Golden Ocean Group Limited was approved today at special meetings of both companies' shareholders.      The new company,

Panama Canal Sets Sight on Another Expansion

As it enters the final stretch of a massive expansion, the Panama Canal Authority is setting its sights on an even more ambitious project worth up to $17 billion

Long Beach, LA Collaborate to Improve Cargo Flow

Executives from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles held a kickoff meeting earlier this week to begin working together to focus on cargo conveyance strategies

 
 
Maritime Contracts Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2026 sec (5 req/sec)