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Opinion
David Fickling and Anjani Trivedi

The Suez Mishap Is a Foretaste of the New Cold War Stakes

Ships so big they get stuck in the Canal literally define “chokepoint” but other waterways will play much more serious roles as the rivalry between China and the U.S. heats up.

The bow of container vessel MV Ever Given after running aground in the Suez Canal.

The bow of container vessel MV Ever Given after running aground in the Suez Canal.

Source: Suez Canal Authority/via AP Photo

After a tumultuous year of pandemic, economic crisis and international tensions, it’s somehow comforting to be confronted with a global threat that looks so much like a slapstick routine.

The grounding of one of the world’s largest container ships in the Suez Canal, wedging its vast bow into the sandy bank and blocking a crucial global trade route, has become an internet meme almost faster than it’s disrupted international goods flows.