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            november 14, 2019

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China looks to developing international shipping lanes via the Arctic region


China plans to work with Russia and other Arctic countries to develop a "Polar Silk Road" that would open up international shipping lanes through the Artic.
Beijing said global warming meant viable shipping routes through the Arctic would become increasingly important for international trade. It is part of an ambitious bigger scheme to transform China's land and sea connections to Europe and beyond, reported BBC News.
President Xi Jinping's US$1 trillion Initiative seeks to rebuild much of Eurasia's road, port and rail infrastructure, and put China at its centre.
China said in its first official policy paper on the polar region that every country's "rights to use the Arctic shipping routes should be ensured."
The north-east passage offers China a faster sea route to many ports than existing routes using the Suez or Panama canals. The new route could reduce transit times by 20 days, down from the 48 days it currently takes to reach Rotterdam from China via the Suez canal.
The paper acknowledges China's interests in oil and gas, minerals, fishing and other resources in the Arctic region, but it expresses an interest in developing them cooperatively with other nations and Arctic states.

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