Daily Management Review

China aims at Arctic


China intends to extend its New Silk Route project to the Arctic territory for the development of new navigable routes, which appeared as a result of global warming, Reuters writes.

Ian Mackenzie via flickr
Ian Mackenzie via flickr
Having issued its first official document on the policy in the Arctic region, the White Paper, China stated that it would encourage enterprises to build infrastructure and conduct commercial test flights, paving the way for the Arctic shipping routes that form the Polar Silk Route.

"China hopes to work with all parties to build the" Polar Silk Road ", developing Arctic shipping routes," reads the document published by the Information Office of the State Council.

China, despite being a non-Arctic state, increasingly takes part in the development of the polar region; the country even became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013.

Among its growing interests in the region is its major stake in the Russian project for liquefying natural gas in Yamal, which is expected to supply 4 million tons of LNG to China annually, the China Daily newspaper reports.

Shipping through the Northern Sea Route saves nearly 20 days from the normal passage of ships through the Suez Canal, the newspaper reported last month.

The growing importance of China in the region has raised concern of the Arctic states regarding Beijing's long-term strategic goals, including a possible military deployment.

"Some people may have concerns about our participation in the development of the Arctic: they are afraid that we may have other intentions or that we can plunder resources or damage the environment," Vice Foreign Minister said at the briefing. "I believe that such fears are absolutely out of place," the official added.

The White Paper states that China also considers the development of the oil and gas industry, mineral resources and other non-fossil energy sources, fisheries and tourism in the region.

Beijing said that the country would engage in this "together with the Arctic states, respecting the traditions and culture of the inhabitants of the Arctic, including indigenous peoples, and preserving the environment."

source: reuters.com