Work began in late December on the 172-mile (278-km) waterway, which its Hong Kong-based developer HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group) says will be operational by 2020, but so far it has been met with widespread skepticism.
HKND Group is controlled by a little-known Chinese mogul, Wang Jing, who said the Chinese government is not behind the project. But his reluctance to reveal his financiers has led many to speculate he enjoys Beijing's tacit backing.
China's involvement would be a direct challenge to the Panama Canal, which was controlled by the United States until 1999. The canal would also give China a major foothold in Central America, a region long dominated by the United States. The U.S. embassy in Nicaragua declined comment when work began last month.
But in a statement released on Tuesday, the U.S. mission in Managua said all relevant documents pertaining to the project should be made public, and that the voices of all stakeholders should be heard in a peaceful manner.