Nicaragua on 22 December 2014 launched the construction of an inter-oceanic canal linking Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean.
The project aims to rival Panama's waterway and revitalize the economy of Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Americas after Haiti. The 50 billion US dollar project is backed by China.
Canal will be 278-km long and will be operational by around 2020. It would raise annual economic growth to more than 10 percent.
Construction of the new waterway will be run by Hong Kong-based HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group), which is controlled by Wang Jing, a little-known Chinese telecom mogul well connected to China's political elite.
The canal could give China a major foothold in Central America, a region long dominated by the United States, which completed the Panama Canal a century ago.
When: 22 December 2014