There’s been lots of talk about Russia’s ambitious claims for Arctic territory, future resource development, and other economic opportunities brought about by the melting ice caps (isn’t that just depressing?), but the story of Chinese interest in new shipping routes is something truly new. Should we be surprised? Beijing has led a pretty activist foreign economic policy, becoming the largest customer of oil from Angola, pouring investments into Venezuela, Brazil, and Bolivia, and developing links with other emerging economic powers. Why not get a piece of the big snow cone up top also? While this all seems very speculative right now, the Canadians are already freaking out.
Here’s a link to the report from the Swedish think tank SIPRI which launched the China-Arctic story.