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原文链接:http://qz.com/236220/why-china-w ... ross-south-america/; 本文首发*****,请多指教。

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WhyChina wants to build a railway across South America
为什么中国想要建造一条横跨南美洲的铁路

By Lily Kuo @lilkuo July 18, 2014

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Sometimesthe view is better by rail. Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino
China’s president Xi Jinping wants to builda railway across South America, Beijing’s latest majorinfrastructure proposal for a region that it has been drawing closer toboth economically and politically.
Xi, on a tour through the region this week,suggested that China, Peru and Brazil form a work group to lay plans for arailway link between Peru’s Pacific coast to Brazil’s Atlantic coast, accordingto Chinese state media. Officials are expected to issue a joint statement soon.
The proposal is one of a slew of tran-SouthAmerican transportation projects in the works, all of which have Chineseinvolvement. Last summer, China signed a memorandum of understanding withHonduras to build a railway between Amapala on thePacific coast and the northern port city of Castilla. Colombian and Chineseofficials say a rail link project connect Colombia’s Atlantic and Pacific coastis still under discussion. Other projects under considerationinclude several railways within Brazil, and a Chinese telecom magnate isworking with Nicaragua to build a 275km-long inter-oceanic canal that wouldserve as an alternative to the Panama Canal.
Whythe push to build railways criss-crossing South America? Part of the answer—besidesthe fact that China knows a thing or two aboutconstructing long railways at high altitudes—lies in the region’s burgeoningtrade with China, which needs raw materials to fuel its economy and new marketsfor its exports. China is already Brazil’s largest tradingpartner. Moreover, Beijing and Lima havejust signed a slew of trade deals worth $70 million.
Currently, the bulk of Chinese imports fromSouth America have to travel through the Panama Canal, where the cost oftransporting a ship through it has tripled over the last five years. Overlandroutes from Brazil, from whom China imports billions of dollars worth of ironore, oil, soy and other commodities, to the Pacific could lower shipping costs.
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Throughout the 2000s, Latin American tradewith China increased more than any other region, according to United Nationsdata.United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
South America’s InterOceanica,a highway that runs from Peru through the Andes and the Amazon to Brazil’sPacific coast, was originally hailed as a way to ramp up trade with Asia.Analysts predicted it would reduce shipping costs from Brazil to Asia bypossibly $100 per ton, but today the roads still aren’t equipped for heavy,long-haul shipping.
The railway can also be seen within the context of China’s larger diplomatic overturesin the region—a campaign that some say is Beijing’s attempt to wield influencein America’s backyard in response to expanding US presence in Asia. Last year,China lent $15 billion to the region, four times as much as the year before.But China’s growing ties with the region have come with tensions. Brazilianshave taken to the streets to protest China’s purchase of land in Bahia stateand Brazilian officials have been frustrated by Embraer’s slow progress in theChinese market. A transcontinental railway accomplished with Chinese assistancemight help resolve some of those problems.

中国国家主席习欲在南美洲修建一条铁路,这是近期北京在该地区最重要基建提案,该提案将会让该地区的经济和政治关系变得更加紧密。
习本周在该地区访问时,建议中国、秘鲁和巴西组成一个工作组,制定从秘鲁太平洋海岸联接到巴西大西洋海岸的铁路线路计划,据中国国家媒体表示。预计相关官员很快将发表一份联合声明。

该方案是一系列横跨南美运输系统工程的一部分,所有这一切均有中国的参与。去年夏天,为建立太平洋海岸城市阿马帕拉到北部港口城市卡斯蒂利亚的铁路,中国与洪都拉斯签署了谅解备忘录。

哥伦比亚和中国官员说,联接哥伦比亚的大西洋和太平洋海岸的铁路工程仍在商讨中。其它在议的工程项目还包括巴西的几条铁路,还有,中国电信巨头正与尼加拉瓜合建一条275公里长,可代替巴拿马连接两大洋的运河。

为何要推动建设横跨南美铁路网?答案之一,除了中国知道如何在高海拔地区进行大规模铁路建设,还能让该地区与中国之间的贸易迅速发展,中国需要原材料,能源和出口市场。中国已是巴西最大的贸易伙伴。此外,北京还已与利马(秘鲁首都)签署了一批价值7千万美元的贸易协议。

目前,中国从南美洲进口的绝大部分货物都要通过巴拿马运河,货轮通过运河的成本在过去五年里已翻了三番。中国进口的数十亿美元的铁矿石,石油,大豆和其他大宗商品,从巴西横跨陆路到太平洋可以降低运输成本。

南美的InterOceanica是连接秘鲁安第斯山脉和巴西太平洋海岸的一条高速公路。起初被当做承担链接亚洲的贸易通道。分析家预测它将降低巴西到亚洲的运输成本,有望达到每吨100美元,而现在,这条公路对于繁重的长途运输已不堪重负。

(建造)铁路也可视为中国在该地区展现更为雄伟的外交姿态,某些人认为北京试图加大对美国的后院影响,以针对美国在亚洲的存在。去年,中国对该地区投资贷款150亿美元,是去年的四倍。但中国的膨胀与该地区的关系呈现紧张。巴西人已经走上街头,抗议中国收购巴伊亚州的土地,而且,巴西官员对于巴西航空工业公司在中国市场受挫而感到沮丧。一个建成的横贯大陆铁路网,加上中国的援助可能会有助于解决这些问题。

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