Friday, September 21, 2012

China Pursuing Arctic Mineral Riches

NUUK, GREENLAND (New York Times)--Although China does not currently hold any Arctic territories, it is deploying its wealth and diplomatic clout to secure a foothold. The country sees its involvement as important so that it is not shut out of mineral and shipping decisions. The Arctic region has risen rapidly on the country's foreign policy agenda: this year alone diplomats have visited Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and also Greenland, where Chinese companies are investing to create a mining industry. Retreating of Greenland's ice cap has made accessible deposits of many valuable minerals; so far there has been little exploitation of Arctic resources. Greenland's proximity to the US is also of concern to American officials, who have accordingly stepped up diplomatic efforts with Arctic countries. Source: China Joins Nations Seeking Treasure in Warming Arctic (Reliability: High)

Comment: If China is successful in establishing a significant presence in the Arctic region, the supply of critical minerals such as cobalt and rare earth minerals, over which China already holds considerable control, will almost certainly become more skewed in favor of the Chinese. Furthermore, in light of the recent flare-up of the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands dispute with Japan, China will highly likely double its efforts to gain Arctic territory, and its scramble for Arctic territory will likely be a source of diplomatic tensions among prominent nations.

No comments:

Post a Comment