China in the Arctic

By Jeff G. Gilmour, 10 February 2024

A recent article by Robert Fife and Steven Chase – “China gains major Arctic foothold as Russia turns to Beijing more, report finds” -- states that Russia has been forced to turn to China to help maintain its military and economic presence in the Arctic because of its defence spending requirements in the Ukraine. I maintain that China has to date already taken significant steps to enhance its presence in Canada’s Arctic Ocean. Note, for example, the following:

1.  China has become an ‘observer’ on the Arctic Council indicating it is very interested in Arctic affairs;
2. It is building a third icebreaker which is expected to be in service next year. The icebreaker Xue Long visited the Northwest Passage in 1999, and conducted China’s first transit of the Northwest Passage in 2017;
3. In March 2023 the Canadian military discovered Chinese monitoring buoys in Canadian Arctic waters which are able to monitor and track submarines;
4. Many of China’s research vessels, which have operated in Canadian Arctic waters, are owned and operated by state-affiliated organizations with close ties to the Peoples Liberation Army;
5. By 2025 China will have built for use in the Arctic Shang3 (Type 093B) Class Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSGN).


See the article at China gains major Arctic foothold as Russia turns to Beijing more, report finds - The Globe and Mail


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