China’s Arctic Ambitions: The New Arctic Policy of a “Near-Arctic State”

iPolitics published an article titled, “China’s Arctic Ambitions: The New Arctic Policy of a “Near-Arctic State”” The article reads in part as follows;

“China is a “Near Arctic State” with extensive and legitimate interests in the Arctic. That is the message in a new Arctic Policy statement released by Beijing Jan. 26.

The document comes after nearly a decade of burgeoning Chinese interest and activity in the circumpolar north. The icebreaker Xue Long made headlines this summer when it transited the Northwest Passage, while Chinese shipping companies are increasingly invested in Russian Arctic sea-routes. Meanwhile Chinese state-owned companies are investing tens of billions in Siberian oil and gas fields and the accompanying pipeline and tanker transport. Projects in Canada are far less advanced, but Chinese state-owned mining companies have stakes in a handful of potentially enormous developments, such as MMG’s Izok Corridor and High Lake projects in Nunavut. China plans to be a major player in Arctic resource development in the future, and Canadians have a vested interested in what Beijing is thinking and saying about its role in the region.

China’s areas of interest are clearly demarcated: resource development, shipping, fisheries, and climate research. Within these areas, its Arctic white paper emphasizes cooperation, development, and the rule of law. Indeed, the term cooperation pops up 45 times in the short document. Coupled with its promise to adhere to international law and play by the rules, China has made a deliberate effort to allay concerns raised by many academic and media commentators that its designs are nefarious or revisionist.

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