China making Arctic states nervous with potential maritime clash over new Europe route

China 'making Arctic states nervous' over relations says expert

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Melting Arctic ice sheets have opened up new sea routes which Russia and China are looking to exploit in order to boost trade. Ian Anthony from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has warned that countries that border the Arctic circle now fear a possible maritime clash between competing superpowers. Mr Anthony told CNBC: “A lot of countries have invested very heavily in scientific research to see what sort of resources are available.

“Particularly as the ice recedes and opens up areas of seas space, so things like commercial fishing for example.

“And this is something that does make Arctic states nervous when it comes to relations with countries outside of the Arctic region.

“Who will regulate the open ocean, commercial fishing, what are the rights if you like of the states that aren’t Arctic states in those waters.

He added: “These are all areas that need clarification and there is an agreement on how to regulate fisheries but China has dragged its feet on ratifying that.

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“Which means it can’t enter into force.

“And this kind of raises a question mark about how China approaches maritime law more generally.

“But for China of course opening up another transport route to markets in Europe has been an issue which has been on the table, somewhat on the back burner.”

The regional expert said it was not “irrational” for superpowers like CHina to look to open a new sea route through the Arctic region.

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He continued: “There is also a cross land route now a railway link from China to Europe.

“If you look at what happened recently in the Suez Canal having alternative transport routes is by no means irrational

“But who is going to regulate them? 

“Here China and Russia for example don’t always see eye to eye on the question of how sovereignty will be exercised in those waters.”


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It comes after Tory MP Tom Tugendhat told a think tank event this week that the Chinese Communist Party has adopted a “really dangerous” economic ideology that poses a serious risk to global markets.

He said “What the Communist Party is now doing is really dangerous. They have reverted to a form of ideology we last saw experimented with in the 1960s and 70s.

“Closing out the globalisation that has to a greater or less extent been introduced by various premiers since Deng Xiaoping.

“So I think what we are seeing is a much more dangerous China.”

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