Arctic Council concerned about China’s plan for trade and military activities in the region

Hong Kong: The Arctic Council has expressed concern over China’s growing ambitions in the region as climate change has offered access to huge mineral resources and new travel routes that dramatically reduce transport routes shipping to Europe.

China announced its Arctic policy and planned several commercial and military activities in the region. In addition, the strengthening of Sino-Russian economic cooperation in recent years has allowed China to assert its presence in the region, The HK Post reported.

China’s growing ambitions, however, have not gone well with the Arctic states – a group of eight countries. Now tension is mounting within the group as China tries to play a big role in the region. Some countries have expressed concerns about it, and even Russia has signaled blocking China in the region.

Although China is not an arctic state, it has made the region a strategic priority by declaring itself a “near arctic state,” reported The HK Post.

China plans to build the Polar Silk Road, an extension of the Belt Road Initiative (BRI), which can ensure rapid transportation of raw materials to China as well as the export of manufactured goods.

“China’s growing energy and resource needs are drawing its attention further away from home. Although initially focused on Eurasia, the BRI has been expanded to include Africa, Latin America and the Arctic. “the North American and Arctic Defense and Security Network said in a report. .

China wants to establish strong shipping routes across the Arctic, as the distance between Shanghai and Western Europe will be reduced by two weeks, saving 30% of travel time if conventional routes through the Strait of Malacca and the Suez Canal are in use, The HK Post reported.

“China is very interested in the Arctic. It is about securing future trade routes to their markets and resources. They are thinking in a much longer perspective than we are,” said Rune Rautio, arctic expert. and China at Norwegian. Akvaplan Niva advice.

Russia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and the United States are members of the Arctic Council. And China is an observer on the council in 2013.

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Posted: Tuesday October 26, 2021 10:27 am IST


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Sara H. Byrd

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