China's Arctic ambitions
China is located nearly 3,000 kilometres from the Arctic Circle but it describes itself as a 'near Arctic State'. So, what are China's ambitions for the polar regions?
China is located nearly 3,000 kilometres from the Arctic Circle but that hasn't stopped it taking a keen interest in the region. Last year China described itself as a 'near Arctic State' and said that it plans to play a crucial role in the Arctic's future. The melting of the polar ice has made it possible to exploit the Arctic’s riches, from natural gas and oil to rare minerals, which are crucial for China’s growth. As leaders from the eight-nation Arctic Council travel to the northern Finnish city of Rovaniemi for talks next week, some people are asking whether Beijing is on a resource grab mission and it is not concerned about the environmental price of exploiting the Arctic. Others say that Chinese investments can be a lifeline for many Arctic communities who have been suffering from years of under investment. Celia Hatton and a panel of expert guests discuss China's race towards the Arctic and what it means for the rest of the world.
(Photo: A model of China's Xue Long (Snow Dragon) icebreaker displayed at the 18th Party Congress in Beijing in 2017. Credit: Simon Song/South China Morning Post/Getty Images)
Annika Nilsson - Arctic Researcher, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Marc Lanteigne - Associate professor The Arctic University of Norway
Wenran Jiang - Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada
Rebecca Pincus - Assistant Professor at the US Naval War College
Alice Wang - Head Mandarin Guide for Quark Expeditions
Philippe Sands - international lawyer
Pele Broberg - member of Greenland Parliament, former minister of finance
A model of China's Xue Long (Snow Dragon) icebreaker displayed at the 18th Party Congress in Beijing in 2017. Credit: Simon Song/South China Morning Post via Getty Images