The Diplomat published an article Who Benefits from China's Belt and Road in the Arctic by Marc Lanteigne, a researcher of defense and security studies at the Massey University of New Zealand, on September 12. Excerpt follows:
With its growing economic and political power, China is in an ideal position to participate in the economic opening of the Far North, and with the ongoing development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) under President Xi Jinping, debate soon appeared as to what roles the Arctic might play in the emerging trade routes.
It was apparent that Beijing's economic interests were becoming more closely aligned with Belt and Road concepts.
The Chinese government's paper formally linked the Arctic to the BRI when it named three specific sea routes which would be essential for China to develop a 'blue engine' to promote greater economic growth, namely the Indian Ocean-to-Mediterranean sea route, the South Pacific, and the Arctic Ocean. All three of these 'blue economic passages' would be developed through partnerships with local governments and economies.
China does not want to be left behind in any future widespread economic development in the region. Beijing has also stressed its support for laws and norms in the Arctic as well as bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
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