MANAGUA, Nicaragua (CBSMiami) – The communist nation of China may be about to make a large impact on Central America and global economic trade.

According to the UK Guardian, Nicaragua has given a Chinese company a 100-year “concession” to build a new canal that will be an alternative to the Panama Canal. The Guardian said the project will cost $40 billion and could “weaken U.S. dominance over the key shipping route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.”

The paper reported Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega said the proposed canal would be built through Lake Nicaragua and be higher-capacity than the Panama Canal.

The Panama Canal is nearing 100-years-old and is being widened at a cost of $5.2 billion at the present time, according to the Guardian’s report.

The paper reported the new canal will be more than 72 feet deep and 178 miles long, which would make it larger than both the Panama and Suez Canals. The construction is expected to take upwards of a decade to complete.