China’s Arctic Ambitions in Alaska

The Diplomat published an article titled, “China’s Arctic Ambitions in Alaska”. The article reads in part as follows:

“For signs of Beijing’s Arctic ambition, Washington need look no further than Alaska. After Chinese President Xi Jinping left the Mar-a-Lago summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in April 2017, he stopped in Alaska, not Silicon Valley, to talk business. Alaskan Governor Bill Walker pitched Xi on his state’s economic opportunities, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments. Before Trump’s trip to China a few months later, the White House announced multiple memoranda of understanding (MOU) between U.S. and Chinese oil and gas corporations, including the $43 billion Alaska LNG project. In the months since these presidential visits, the U.S.-China relationship — now on the precipice of a trade war — has grown tense. But in Alaska, deals are still moving forward.

China’s energy interests are not limited to just Alaska, but include the entire Arctic, where climate change is opening up new shipping lanes and recoverable energy resources. As ice begins to melt, energy-insecure Beijing has begun to assert itself more forcefully in the region, investing in the economic, diplomatic, and strategic benefits that it believes the Arctic will bring. Unless the United States pays more attention to China’s Arctic ambitions, Beijing will strengthen its economic and strategic position in the world’s largest emerging frontier at America’s expense.

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