Back in the year 2013, Xi Jinping the Chinese President suggested the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), a dynamic and grand infrastructure building project that will cover a big part of Eurasia, few parts of Africa and many seas as well. But the Arctic was still left out to be a part of Beijing Plans at that time.
That left part (Arctic) comes in limelight now. An agency of Chinese government released ‘China Arctic Policy’ as shown on a white paper. This policy has outlined that how the BRI would apply to the Arctic. It reads, China will encourage its builders to develop Arctic routes and will promote its shipping entities to carryout testing tours across the sea. As the shipping routes will increase, it will help in social and economic growth of the China. It is quite clear that China shares interest with the Arctic. But the reality picture confirms that China is biggest beneficiary of the different projects of BRI.
One part of the released paper tells that how China could use the potential resources of Arctic that includes fisheries and fuel in a logical and lawful manner while keeping in context with its conflicts with international laws as per to the South China Sea. Another reality that couldn’t be negated is China would not evade Russia of course which holds most of the Arctic borders.
Chinese President Xi Jinping in last July stressed its northern neighbour to build ‘Silk Road on ice’ alongside the Arctic coastline of Russia. As a part of BRI, China’s state owned Silk Road Fund solemnized a deal to buy liquefied gas plant with 9.9% stake for $1.2bn in Russia back in the year 2016. Another plant is positioned in Yamal Peninsula majority owned by Novatek Russia. China will be the mainstay customer for the produced gas from these plants.
Positive vibes emerging out of the released white paper show that China will promote Antarctic tourism that will further help the local economy to develop and will of course protect the traditional cultures and values.