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Russia-Ukraine war poses threat to China's Arctic ambitions

ANI | Updated: Mar 12, 2022 19:36 IST


Beijing [China], March 12 (ANI): China's aspirations to become a great power in the Arctic region is hanging in the balance as Russia's invasion of Ukraine will surely increase the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the Arctic region, reported The Arctic Institute, a thinktank involved with dedicated research on Arctic security.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine has intensified the cooperation between NATO and Finland and Sweden, the two Arctic nations that are not members of NATO.
On March 3, the seven nations Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States, in a joint statement condemned Russia's 'unprovoked invasion' of Ukraine and noted the 'grave impediments to international cooperation, including in the Arctic, that Russia's actions have caused.'
In the Arctic, it is hard to imagine that the US, Canada or the five Nordic countries would want to deepen economic cooperation or integrate China into regional decision-making forums in case it chose the siding with Putin's Russia.
China is having difficulties in choosing sides in the conflict. Putin hoped that China at the international forum will support Russia however China chose not to vote. At the same time, China has criticized the Western sanctions against Russia.
The seven members of the Arctic Council, have temporarily paused participation in all meetings of the Arctic Council in light of 'Russia's flagrant violation' of Arctic Council principles.
The future of Arctic governance is uncertain as it is difficult to imagine that the leaders of the other seven Arctic states would travel to the ministerial meeting on the Arctic Council in Russia, reported the think tank.
Notably, the Arctic Council works towards the Arctic as a "region of peace, stability and constructive cooperation, that is a vibrant, prosperous, sustainable and secure home for all its inhabitants, including Indigenous Peoples, and where their rights and wellbeing are respected."
In 2018, China published its first-ever Arctic strategy. The Chinese government declared: "As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China shoulders the important mission of jointly promoting peace and security in the Arctic."
However, in the current circumstances, the Ukraine war poses a major challenge for China's arctic vision. Climate Change also constitutes a key security threat in the Arctic and China remains the biggest carbon emitter in the world.
China's anti-American sentiments will also become a hurdle for the country to fulfil its aspirations it has for the Arctic region. Moreover, the Ukraine crisis will have a very negative impact on the world economy, and therefore, on China's economic growth.
The closure of the Russian airspace is likely to disrupt the transportation of cargo between China and Europe.
Moreover, the Ukraine crisis will have very negative impacts on the world economy, and therefore, on China's economic growth. Due to coronavirus restrictions, there are no Chinese tourists travelling to Europe but the closure of the Russian airspace is likely to disrupt the transportation of cargo between China and Europe. (ANI)

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