July 4th, 2019

Is China’s concept of a Polar Silk Road a potential rival to the Arctic Council?

Briefly explain China’s strategic interests in Arctic.

The Arctic is becoming a “new” political space in which China wants  to be actively involved. As the emerging global power of the 21st  century, it actively wants to participate in policymaking processes and  ensure that its interests are being met. Two overarching strategic  interests are the region’s previously inaccessible natural resources as  well as the access to emerging shipping lanes.

The Arctic region, especially Russia’s territories and near-shore  waters, hold significant oil and gas reserves. Through several  large-scale investments, including financing for Novatek’s Yamal LNG and  Arctic LNG 2 projects, China is actively involved in the development  and exploitation of these resources. China benefits from long-term  supply contracts with Novatek and its shipping partners of LNG.

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