China Expands Its Global Governance Ambitions in the Arctic

Chatham House published an article titled, “China Expands Its Global Governance Ambitions in the Arctic”. The article reads in part as follows:

As polar ice melts, the Arctic will become increasingly important for its untapped oil, gas and minerals as they become more accessible, as well for its shipping routes, which will become increasingly cost efficient for cargo as parts of the routes become ice-free for extended periods.

A number of countries, including Russia and China, are also exploring the possibilities around overflights, commercial fishing, the laying of submarine cables and pipelines, and scientific research.

Earlier this month, China announced the launch of its first domestically built conventionally-powered polar icebreakerXuelong 2, or Snow Dragon 2. Like its (foreign-built) predecessor,Snow Dragon, this vessel’s purpose is framed as scientific research into polar ice coverage, environmental conditions, and biological resources.

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