This article is from WeChat official account:Jiubian (ID: ertoumu893)< span class = "text-remarks">, author: Nine, the original title: “why do not dig the Suez Canal width some? “, the title picture comes from: Visual China
I have been blocked for the past two days, and the Internet has been raging. I think many people are a little strange. The Suez Canal is so important, why not dig a bit wider? If you dig a bit wider, you won’t be able to block it.
As a serious author, in order to make the article still available in a few months, I will tell you all about the past and present of the Suez Canal. After that, everyone will understand.
1. New and old business roads
In fact, when you open the map, you can find that the land between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea is as annoying as the female number two in the movie, but it is annoying. For most of human history, it can only be accepted and cannot be changed.
That place has always been a key node for commercial and trade exchanges. A line of the ancient Maritime Silk Road passed here. The fleets of Muslim merchants loaded porcelain tea cotton cloths in Guangzhou and Indian ports in China and sent them to the Suez Canal. In that area, the cargo was unloaded and landed, then landed, and then reloaded. The Italians were responsible for transporting them to Europe.
This also created two ancient merchant gangs, the Muslim caravan and the Italian consortium. You know the merchants of Venice. They were a group of people parasitic on the Silk Road in ancient times. Of course, there was no Italy in ancient times, only Venice. And Genoa, these two goods made a lot of money on the classical Silk Road.
Later, Western Europeans began to discover geography, bypassing the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, and connecting themselves with India and China, and the previous commercial route was slowly abandoned. Muslims and Italians plummeted, and they became more and more frustrated ever since. . The picture below shows the two new waterways opened up in Western Europe.
One is the slave tobacco trade road leading to the Americas; the other is the Asian trade road bypassing the Cape of Good Hope.
Until the strong rise of the French and the runaway under Napoleon, the main strategy was to break the British blockade. So when Napoleon hit Egypt, the army scientists were engaged in surveying and mapping, discussing the possibility of opening the Suez Canal. This was not Napoleon’s own idea, but a French national policy. After preparing to open the Suez Canal, the French fleet sent troops to India and completely destroyed it. British cows.
Everyone knows what happened later. Napoleon soon couldn’t get along in Egypt. He ran back to the coup and became the leader of the coup d’état, and the Egyptian incident was not resolved.
As for many people, the calculation was wrong at that time. The sea level of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea are not the same high, so it is not possible to dig a canal. This is not a problem. The Strait of Gibraltar is also not the same high. The Atlantic water has been flowing back into the Mediterranean. , No effect.
Some people also talk about the Panama Canal. In fact, they didn’t understand what happened to the Panama Canal. I have been to both the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal. They were both very excited at first, but soon became boring, because The journey is extremely long and boring.
But they are completely different. The Suez Canal is artificially cut through the desert and is basically straight. The Panama Canal actually connects twoThe ocean is connected to a lake. The altitude of this lake is much higher than that of the two oceans. Even the bottom of the lake is higher than the sea surface. Therefore, the water must be blocked by a ship lock. The ship has to pass through the lock several times and slowly rise to that lake. Here, the lake runs out without the gate.
Continue to talk about the canal. After the Napoleonic Wars, the French still did not give up and continued to instigate the Egyptians to build the canal. At that time, there was really no money, so they simply issued 200 million gold francs of stock to repair the canal. The British are strongly opposed to them. The British spent a lot of money to operate routes to Africa and set up countless supply stations and forts along the way. Now France has to cut corners. Of course, the British cannot accept it. And after the canal is opened, Britain will indeed be challenged by France.
This project is extremely large. Nearly ten years ago, more than two million laborers were invested, and there was no labor law at the time, and the scene was very violent. According to statistics, 120,000 people died, many of which were thrown directly into the canal.
At the same time, the United States was digging the Panama Canal to build the Pacific Railway, but they mainly used Chinese workers, and many died.
However, France is also unlucky. The Egyptian government spends too much money on the construction of the canal and is so poor that it is about to go bankrupt. It plans to sell the Suez Canal Company to the French for cash.
This news was learned by the British Prime Minister. Before asking Parliament for instructions, he borrowed privately from the Rothschild Bank. Before the French, he bought all the shares of the company for almost 100 million francs. Suez The canal returned to England somehow. Of course, France deserves it. For such an important matter as the Suez Canal, fierce discussions within France have begun. Until the acquisition of the United Kingdom has been completed, the French discussions have not yet come to fruition.
The British with the Suez Canal made further progress, and their relationship with the East expanded rapidly, consolidating their position as world hegemony at that time.
2. The US-UK game
Then the First World War broke out, the BritishHe also made great efforts, such as letting the legendary spy Lawrence go to the Middle East to instigate the split of the Ottoman Empire (At that time Egypt was also the territory of the Ottoman Empire), and put The Jews were placed on the edge of the Suez Canal to prevent the Middle East countries from twisting into a rope. As long as the Middle East countries remain in chaos, there will be no synergy. Without a synergy, no one can challenge the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom can continue to occupy the pit.
This is a bit like the situation of the British in China in the early years. From the late Qing Dynasty, British warships have been cruising in the Yangtze River until the “Siye” descends to the south of the Yangtze River. China wants to restore unification, so they will not be allowed to stay in China. The various rights and interests of Britain in China ended with the reunification of mainland China.
This can also understand why the United Kingdom hates the unification of other countries, and it has always been able to dismantle it.
When the Second World War came, the Germans wanted to control this canal again. At that time, the German general Rommel, the most capable of fighting in North Africa, had a strategic goal to take Egypt, control Suez, and cut off the relationship between Britain and India. Britain cannot supply soldiers and food from India.
The war started very smoothly. Didn’t Rommel have a nickname called “Desert Fox”? He said that he abused the British in the North African desert. The British got persecutory delusion syndrome, so he gave He has such a nickname.
But in 1942, Germany was in a mess in the Soviet Union, and soon there was no time to take charge of Africa. Rommel began to smash the British army with the British army in the desert with supplies and severely inadequate equipment. He did not fight, and Germany got involved. Suez’s dream was completely shattered.
After the war, the Egyptians’ nationalism was soaring, and they began to wonder why the canal built by more than a hundred thousand people died was controlled by the British, and the British have been stationed near the canal. The more they think about it, the more depressed they are. , So it was announced in 1956 that the canal was nationalized and completely taken back.
Now Britain and France are completely angry, so you are Egypt, right?
They first went to the United Nations to file a complaint, saying that Egypt was robbing the canal. At that time, the United Nations was no longer the kingdom of Britain and France. The United States and the Soviet Union had long regarded Britain and France as unhappy. In World War II, the United Kingdom had the most combat effectiveness except for the BBC. The other heavy tasks were the Soviet Union and the United States. How can there be any qualifications to dictate? Especially in France, the French surrendered after 42 days of fighting. Now the former power has a skeleton left. Who takes them seriously?
So the United States and the Soviet Union immediately rejected the English and French. Anglo-French scoldingLielie pulled up Israel to beat Egypt. In 1956, the war started, and the Egyptian war five scum, he couldn’t defeat any of the three. Now the three of them are going together, there is basically no suspense.
Seeing that the canal is about to be snatched away again, it was the United States who came out to help this time. The United States severely rebuked Britain and warned Israel to pay attention. The United Kingdom didn’t take it seriously at the beginning, but at that time the United Kingdom needed a large loan and was waiting for the approval of the World Bank. The Americans suppressed and said that if you don’t return the Suez Canal, dream it.
In this way, the lucky Egyptians enjoyed the dividends of the conflict between the old and new powers, and somehow took the canal back.
The U.S. trick is particularly vicious. By threatening the U.K. with money and forcing the U.K. to make concessions, the U.K. has lost all of its people in front of everyone. The more people look at it, the more people feel that the U.K. is indeed not working. In the future, you will have to look for the U.S. to hold your thighs.
This incident has also become a landmark event after the war. The old empires, Britain and France, have a lower and lower voice in the international arena, and important matters still require the US and the Soviet Union to nod their heads. Moreover, there has been a wave of strong resentment towards the United States in the United Kingdom. Many people feel that “it is not a good thing to see this American grandson”, but there is no way. People under the roof can only be soft. After all, they still need a US loan. .
3. Egypt’s money maker
Egypt has always used it as a cash cow since it got the canal, and it has been repeatedly expanded on a large scale. The river surface has gradually widened from 60 meters wide at the earliest to 313 meters wide today. Running the aircraft carrier is also easy and enjoyable.
In 2015, the Egyptian government was still ambitious to build another two-lane road on the side of the canal, but it didn’t work out, and it cost too much money. Later, it came up with a plan and got it done. 1.5 lanes, that is, there are two lanes at both ends, and there is a section in the middle.
This time it was also unlucky. The Taiwan ship happened to be stuck in the middle section, completely blocking the entire canal.
Dedging an old river course of about 37 kilometers, and excavating a new river course of about 35 kilometers. The project cost was about 8.2 billion U.S. dollars, and the Egyptian government couldn’t get it out. Later, I remembered the old method of financing and issued bonds to the people to solve it. If there were 20 to 30 billion U.S. dollars at that time, it should be completely resolved.
Not five years have passed. At the beginning, under the siege of economists and environmentalists(Environmentalists say that the extension of the canal destroys the ecology of the desert ) It took 8 billion US dollars to repair the meal. How about the harvest?
It can be said to be a mess. In 2013, it was able to collect 5.3 billion U.S. dollars in a year. This is not seven years. In the middle, 8 billion was spent on major repairs. Last year, 5.6 billion was collected, and 5.9 billion was collected in 2019. At this rate , It is estimated that it will take 20 to 30 years to pay back.
Everyone now knows why the Egyptian government is becoming more and more negative on the issue of broadening. The main reason is that it spends no money and gets scolded every day, and everyone is depressed.
Here actually tells us a truth. The country and the individual are the same. If you don’t have money, you will care too much about short-term benefits and you will not be able to completely solve the problem all at once.
When you encounter trouble, it will always solve half of it. The problem is that it is not completely solved this time, leaving a lot of trouble, daily troubles, and then it will cost money to solve it. It may still be a half-hearted solution. How suffocated.
In order to write this article, I went to find a few boat bosses to inquire about the Suez Canal. The general response was that it was “too dark”. It costs 300,000 US dollars to pass the canal. (this number is the least among the few people I asked, because the boats are relatively small, most of them are more than 500,000), what does 300,000 dollars mean? If a big ship goes around the Cape of Good Hope, that is to say, it is a wandering down from Africa, the time will increase by one week, but the main cost is only more than 200,000 yuan, which means it can be cheaper. I heard a boat boss said that they were cheaper by 100,000 US dollars. , The most expensive one is 400,000 US dollars cheaper.
In fact, thinking about it, it’s easy to understand that the Egyptian government will definitely increase the freight until it is about the same as the Cape of Good Hope. Otherwise, taking the Suez Canal will save time and money. There is no such good thing. Therefore, it has always been necessary to go to Suez. More expensive, but save time. On the whole, the toll of the Suez Canal fluctuates with oil prices. If the oil price is high, it will be high, and if the oil price is low, it will be discounted.
In this sense, many people said that the canal was blockedAfter going around the Cape of Good Hope, you will lose your life. This is wrong. It will only increase the cost of time. Maybe you can save money. In fact, the most troublesome thing after being blocked is that you don’t know when it will be solved. Egypt is not the kind of problem-solving expert. , Not only is it not like solving a problem, it is more like fooling a ghost, it is estimated that the problem will be solved automatically after the high tide.
From now on, it is indeed the tide that lifted the boat up.
4. What should we do in the future
I see that many friends say that they want to develop land transportation instead of sea transportation.
This idea is good, but after checking the data, I was shocked. The China-Europe Express train can only pull 200 boxes in one trip, and the ship that was stuck in the past two days was loaded with 20,000 TEUs. . In 2020, the China-Europe Railway issued a total of 1.135 million TEUs. In the same year, the port throughput was 260 million, a difference of two orders of magnitude. The railway speed is three times that of sea transportation, but the cost is two or three times that of sea transportation. So, land transportation is a long and difficult thing, and it will not be able to replace sea transportation for a while.
Moreover, even if land transportation develops in the future, sea transportation will still be an important part of our country. They are complementary and cannot be replaced.
The shipping volume is large, and there is no need to build roads. The advantage of low cost is simply invincible. The railway is worse, and the worst is the road.
So let’s just say, the sea cannot be avoided. The star and the sea are really unavoidable. You can only bite the bullet. Our country must become a maritime power. Moreover, my country has long been the world’s largest trading country in goods. It is necessary to prevent people from getting stuck. This is a situation in Egypt, but it is not too common. Another is to prevent others from using force to get stuck. It’s a nuisance.
This is also why our country insists on making dumplings. Of course, we will not invade others, but we have to have a knife in our hands. We can’t beat them before we don’t discuss them. At least those who make trouble will not do whatever they want. It’s like someone is going to block your door. If your house only has a rolling pin, then it’s normal for others to be unscrupulous. If your house has a small pistol, the other party has to weigh it.
This article is from WeChat official account:Jiubian (ID: ertoumu893)< span class = "text-remarks">, author: Nine span>