* Beijing has defined itself as a ‘near-Arctic state’ and is taking a growing interest in shipping and economic development of other countries in the area
* But Washington is wary of its rival’s ambitions and the potential for Chinese science and commerce to morph into a security threat
China and the United States have been diplomatically banging heads over trade disputes for the best part of the last 18 months, while elsewhere their rivalry is playing out as a global grappling match for power and influence from the South China Sea to Africa. The Arctic may be next on the list.
This month is the second anniversary of China’s announcement of a policy to include the polar region in its Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious effort to build land and maritime trading routes across the globe.
Beijing’s release of the Arctic white paper in 2018, in which it referred to itself as a “near-Arctic state”, caused something of a sceptical stir in Washington, not for what it contained, but what it lacked: military ambition.
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WNU Editor: This is not happening in a vacuum. China’s intentions toward the Arctic have been known for years …. China Wants To Lay Claim To The Arctic (April 5, 2014).