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A potential route for China’s “Polar Silk Road” as part of its Belt and Road Initiative

The strategic implications of China’s Arctic Road

  • China has proposed creating an Arctic link to Europe
  • Doing so would increase its influence in the region
  • That could tip the strategic balance, with consequences for Russia and NATO
  • Western opposition is likely to grow, though without a coordinated response

In 2017, the Chinese government released a document entitled “Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.” It included an idea for an Arctic link between China and Western Europe, complementing its other plans to construct infrastructure and trade routes connecting the country with Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. China’s ambitions were further developed in a white paper released in January 2018, which emphasized the importance of economic and scientific development in its Arctic strategy. While there is widespread interest in Chinese investments in infrastructure, there are also growing concerns over Beijing’s strategic intent, as well as skepticism over whether the plans will be realized and deliver significant economic and strategic benefits to China or others.

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Dr. James Jay Carafano
Beijing’s demand for a more prominent role in Arctic governance has unsettled nations in the region
read more about it in the report
What's inside
  • China has proposed creating an Arctic link to Europe
  • Doing so would increase its influence in the region
  • That could tip the strategic balance, with consequences for Russia and NATO
  • Western opposition is likely to grow, though without a coordinated response
Who will benefit?
  • Report is targeted to the decision makers in cross country manufacturing – suppliers, manufacturers, logistics.
  • Also considered useful for the administrative university facilities, to better understand the possibe effects of current decisions.
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