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With a focus on power and profit, Beijing is building influence in the Arctic

In its quest to become a world superpower, China has been regularly involved in regional conflicts with its neighbors, worrying against international law. But there is one area on its radar with fewer competitors, where the rules are still decided: the Arctic. China sees opportunity in the wide Arctic sea of ​​melting ice. BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing has begun to demand a bigger stake in the region to open new trade routes, explore oil and gas and conduct research on climate change, experts said. Geographically, China is nowhere near the Arctic Circle, which places Asian power in a great political position compared to the eight states that form the Arctic Council, all of which own territory within the Arctic Circle. Council members are divided about China’s growing interest in the region. Some smaller economies such as Iceland and Norway see an opportunity, while others of strategic interest such as Russia and Canada are increasingly cautious. China is not the only non-polar country that is interested in the region, but it is the largest company specializing in China and the pole, Marc Lantin of the University of Massi in New Zealand told CNN. In 2013, he joined India, South Korea, Japan and Singapore in obtaining a non-voting observer status in the council. “Overall, there was acceptance that China would be a player there, but there is still some concern about the ambiguity surrounding the end of the Chinese game,” Lanchi said. Foreign Ministers of the Arctic Council with the then US Secretary of State, Rex Tilerson, on 11 May 2017. Polar Silk Road In January, Beijing published the first white paper of the Arctic Strategy, claiming its firm interest in the region while trying to allay fears about its regional ambitions . And defines itself as a “state close to the North Pole” in the document, saying that the Arctic environmental changes have “a direct impact on the climate system and environmental environment in China.” The white paper describes details of Beijing’s plans for the “Polar Silk Road” as part of the $ 2 trillion belt and road infrastructure program signed by President Xi Jinping, whose government has spent much to build large trade corridors around the world. While the road and road initiative has sparked criticism in the West over concerns that China is taking over the debts of developing countries, Lannetti says it is welcomed by some of the smaller players in the Arctic who are keen to build economic ties with Beijing. “Some Scandinavian countries have raised the possibility of expanding China’s maritime traffic and potential new ports,” Lanthe said. The idea of ​​a mutually beneficial partnership is exactly the reassuring message that China has sought to carry out in its Arctic policy, with frequent reference to “cooperation”. The melting of sea ice from NASA’s IceBridge research aircraft off the northwest coast on March 30, 2017 is seen above Greenland. It is a stark contrast to the concerns of the Arctic Council before China’s admission, when members feared it might seek to replicate the territorial seizure of the South China Sea in the Arctic Circle. Beijing claims to have a huge area of ​​land in the South China Sea and has built heavily fortified artificial islands to help confirm its location in the Spratly and Paracel chains. By comparison, the situation in the Arctic is relatively peaceful, according to experts, with no serious regional conflicts. Antarctic Arctic States are eager to keep it this way. “Economic potential” Beijing claims that the main reason for its interest in the Arctic is scientific research. In the white paper, she indicated her willingness to investigate the effects of climate change “to solve global environmental issues”. But skeptics said China’s Arctic ambitions were fueled by economic and political appeal to control a resource-rich region. It is estimated that the Arctic may hold about a third of the world’s natural gas and 13% of the world’s oil reserves, according to a report by Rachel Gosnell of the University of Maryland. As temperatures from the melting of the ice in the region have increased, shipping routes, once unworkable, have become an attractive alternative to the world’s second-largest economy. “The Arctic is full of economic potential,” said Gosnell, who estimates the region’s annual economy to exceed $ 450 billion. According to NASA, some global climate models predict that the Arctic will be ice-free during the summer months by the middle of this century, making its waters likely to be important shipping routes. “China really wants to put itself in a position to have some sort of scramble or push for Arctic resources,” said Lanthe, an expert on polar regions. “China will be in a very good position to take advantage of that.” To secure this position, it enhances its capabilities in the Arctic. In September, China launched the second icebreaker known as Xue Long 2, or Snow Dragon 2, with an exploratory expedition scheduled for the first half of

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