JUST days after his inauguration, Donald Trump has set into motion his plan to build a wall along the common border between the United States and Mexico purportedly to keep off illegal immigrants.
When completed over the course of Trump’s presidential term, the wall will stretch over 2,000 kilometers. It will cost around US$10.5 billion. But here is the catch. Trump intends to bill Mexico for the cost of construction! If that is not international bullying, I do not know what is.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (who was one of two heartthrobs during the Apec meeting in Manila) is, naturally, indignant. He cancelled a prior scheduled meeting this week with Trump to express his displeasure.
Mexico demands respect, Nieto said. Furthermore, no way will Mexico pay for the construction.
The average Mexican is both angry and resigned. “Trump is a false prophet, leading the US into the desert. But if Trump wants to build a wall on his side of the border, there is nothing we can do about it.”
While Trump has no love lost for the Chinese, his proposed wall along the Mexican border was obviously inspired by the humongous Chinese version.
The Great Wall of China actually consists of several separate walls built over centuries, spanning the reigns of several Chinese dynasties. Its purpose was to prevent foreign incursions into Chinese territory.
When placed end to end, the Great Wall, according to some estimates, would stretch more than 20,000 kilometers.
Several portions of the original structures are no longer existent but the remnants are still large enough to be visible from outer space.
What would the Great Wall of Donald Trump look like? In all probability, the wall would be at least 20 feet high (to prevent scaling) and at least five feet deep (to prevent tunnelling).
To meet a tight construction schedule, pre-cast cement wall panels would probably be used. This would require an estimated 339 million cubic meters of cement as well as several million pounds of steel.
One can be sure, that in accordance with Trump’s America First Policy, the steel will be “made in U.S.”
If all goes well, the whole project will be completed just about the time Trump completes his four-year presidential term.
(Ignacio R. Bunye)