Beijing: China has indicated major investments in the ‘arctic’ against the background of the changes taking place in the North Pole and the Arctic Circle. The Vice-Foreign Minister, Xuanyou announced the ambitious ‘Polar Silk Road’. The ‘One Belt One Road’ scheme of Chinese President Xi Jjinping, envisages the creation of the ‘Polar Silk Road’ is what was stated in the white paper published about the Arctic.
Publication of a ‘White Paper’, in spite of not having any connection with the Arctic Ocean or border, is seen as a symbol of the Chinese geo-political ambitions. The Arctic Circle includes 13 countries and along with the US, Canada and Russia, 10 European countries are a part of it. The ‘Arctic Council’ has been created for the management of the Arctic Circle and China has been given an ‘observer status’ on the council a few years back.
In the year 2014, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping had announced that China will be a ‘Polar Region Power’ in the future. Since then China has started movements in the Arctic region with Russia’s help. It is believed that China will immensely benefit from the development in sea routes in the Arctic region and it is also looking at the huge oil deposits in this area. It is said that China has initiated discussions with Russia and the European countries to develop commercial sea routes and has also prepared studies and reports about the same.
The ‘Arctic Policy Paper’ published on Friday has shown China’s preparedness to participate in the projects to be implemented in the Arctic region and to make big investments. Under the ‘One Belt One Road’ scheme, China will be working for the development, management and increased international co-operation for the Arctic region’ said the white paper published by China.
China has set up an ‘Arctic Research Centre’ in Shanghai with co-operation from the European nations in the Arctic region. Afterwards, China had participated in procuring the mining rights for fossil fuels in the Arctic nation Greenland. Against this background, the announcement of the ‘Polar Silk Road’ only shows the increased Chinese ambitions.