According to a report written by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and released in Oslo Beijing officials’ Arctic interests have changed and China now recognizes the commercial and strategic opportunities that will arise from an ice-free Arctic.
The author of the report, Bejing-based Linda Jakobson said a few Chinese researchers already question China’s natural sciences-approach to Arctic research and encourage the Chinese Government to make comprehensive plans.
The two main interests of China in the Arctic are: Shortened trade routes and possible access to the untapped natural resources to fuel China’s economy.
The report says the Chinese Government has allocated extra resources to Arctic research and decided to build a new high-tech polar expedition ice-breaker.
Barents Observer.com reports the important shipping route from Shanghai to Hamburg is shortened by 6,400 km during the summer each year and the Northern Sea Route along Siberia’s northern coast could become China’s new gateway to Europe.
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