27 January 2018
China laid out for the first time its Arctic policy in a White Paper, at a time when global warming is creating new economic opportunities that are drawing other non-Arctic nations to the frigid polar region.
The carefully worded blueprint positions China as an important stakeholder in the Arctic, being a “near-Arctic” state affected by changes to the natural conditions there. The impact on China’s climate system and ecological environment in turn affects its economic activity such as agriculture and fishing, it said.
It notes that China, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has a responsibility to promote the peace and security of the region.
The White Paper released yesterday comes at a time when China’s activities in the Arctic region have increased and expanded from scientific research to include those that are economic, particularly with Arctic shipping routes opening.
… The White Paper, said Associate Professor Li Mingjiang of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, served to reassure Arctic states about China’s activities in the region. Domestically it would guide activities in the region of various groups, ranging from the scientific community to state-owned enterprises and local governments.
“The most important factor (for publishing the White Paper) is China’s own realisation that it’s time for China to come up with a clear and comprehensive plan for its presence and activity in the Arctic region,” he said.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 30/01/2018