China’s Increasing Activity In The Arctic Is Being Closely Watched By NATO
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO has announced that the defense alliance is cautiously monitoring the keenness of China in increasing its presence in the Arctic despite the growing segmentation in the polar region. China is struggling to make its presence felt in the North as there are chances that the exploration at the far of poles of the world may increase so as to reveal the undiscovered gas, mineral, and oil deposits in those regions. The security issues are the current focus as the military power of China is increasing at a rapid pace. China seems to be getting closer to Europe owing to its increased presence in Africa and the Arctic.
There are already claims being made by China that it is a near-Arctic state and thus, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered to keep a check on China’s moves in the Arctic as there are chances it may declare national security aims there. China has shot back saying that they just plan to work on protecting the Arctic along with the other parties while making peace with the region. They find the allegations made against them totally baseless. The second-largest economy in the world has been active in the polar region for quite some time.
In 2013, the Arctic Council was made to maintain co-operation and interaction among the Arctic states. NATO allies including Canada, Denmark, the US, Greenland, Norway, and Iceland plus the non-NATO members such as Finland, Russia, and Sweden formed the group so as to lower the rising tension levels in the North Pole. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that the heatwave in Europe has depleted the ice concentration in the Arctic. China is planning to take advantage of the melting ice and build a gateway for trade. Similarly, by the end of August, the Northern Sea Route linking Europe and Asia through the East Siberian and Laptev Seas will be opened and the Northwest Passage will remain blocked. The Northern Sea Route is the trading route along the Russian Arctic coast whereas the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans connected through the Northwest Passage will remain ice blocked.