Friday, January 09, 2015

The Arctic Circle Marked By a Nine-Dashed Line

China is looking north for energy and shipping routes:

China declares itself to be a “near Arctic state” and an “Arctic stakeholder,” even though its northernmost territory lies more than 1,000 miles south of the Arctic Circle. As the most populous country in the world, China claims that it should have a say in Arctic policy and disagrees with Arctic issues being decided by Arctic states alone. More broadly, given the region’s resource reserves, shipping lanes, and implications for global warming, China argues that Arctic state interests and claims must be balanced against international interests in the seas and resources of the region.

Of course they make that argument. China's view is that what's mine is mine and what's yours should be mine--or at least a matter of debate. Why should the friggin' North Pole be any different?

What aren't they that "near?"

Ah, ya gotta love the Chinese government. No. Really. According to them, you must.

I will say that if China hopes a northern sea route will avoid Indian and American (among others) interdiction of their sea lines of supply for imports and exports, the northern route goes by Japan and Alaska and down through NATO waters.

And of course, the Chinese can totally trust the Russians not to interdict that traffic between those choke points!

I mean, Russia has ambitions to totally control the Arctic. No word on what the ethnic Russians of the North Pole think.

You have to admit that it would be rather bizarre if Russian-Chinese competition over the Arctic is what triggers more hostile relations.