China and Russia ambitious plans for the development of the Arctic trade route

У Китая и России амбициозные планы по поводу развития арктического торгового маршрута

Climate change and the melting Arctic ice has opened up new opportunities for Russia and China. While the rest of the world believes global warming is the biggest threat to mankind, this ambitious Duo has announced that the cold water of the North pole are a potential new trade routes. For Russia, this route is not a new initiative, because different oil and gas corporations, mining and shipping companies, including “Rosneft”, “Gazprom”, “Rosshelf”, “LUKOIL” and “NOVATEK for several years to extract profits from the development of the region. However, China is a relatively new trend and now Beijing needs a solid partner to work in the Arctic.In November 2018 the government of Chinese President XI Jinping issued a so-called “White paper” outlining the strategy of Beijing in the Arctic. It provides for the creation of a “Polar silk road” as part of wider measures to implement the initiative “One belt, one road” (opop), an unprecedented infrastructure project, covering more than 60 countries. This official announcement about the big plans of Beijing for the development of the Arctic was preceded by several years of working in the Arctic circle, one of the examples of which include the establishment in 2004 near the village of NY-ålesund on Svalbard the first Chinese scientific research base “yellow river”.Can you answer the question of what constitutes the core of Russian-Chinese cooperation in the Arctic, but the determining factor is one argument. Polar silk road not only effectively gives Moscow a new commercial border, but will also enable Beijing to obtain relatively independent vending route alternative to the Suez canal or the Malacca Strait, which will directly connect geographically distant countries.Like Russia, China probably considers this Siberian route as an important lever against the threat posed by increasingly large-scale military presence of the United States in the southern part of the globe. China is undoubtedly interested in strengthening their political positions, given that naval forces of the United States is dominated by warm waters and, in the case of aggravation of disagreements between Beijing and Washington threatened to block transportation of supplies and delivery of energy for China through the Malacca Strait.However, some analysts argue that the same problem can occur in the Bering Strait, which was particularly important to the construction of new trade routes. It is important to note that China is not so much exports, as the imports, especially when it comes to meeting the ever growing needs of the country in hydrocarbons.Currently, Russia transportorul natural gas from Yakutia to China through the pipeline “Power of Siberia”. Recently also discussed details of the construction of a new pipeline from the Russian plant in Yamal LNG to China through Mongolia, at the same time to satisfy the energy needs of this East Asian country. The growing market of China suggests that Moscow open any routes for which there can be delivered Siberian riches of Russia. The second most powerful economy in the world, which calls itself the “almost Arctic power”, owns a significant stake in the Yamal LNG project through major Chinese state companies, which currently represents a link between Beijing and the Arctic.In addition, in recent years, China actively developing diplomatic relations with the countries of Northern Europe. Although between the countries of NATO and the European Union, there are still political boundaries, China, this self-proclaimed “almost Arctic” country in 2013 was granted observer status in the Arctic Council that includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, USA and Iceland.From an economic point of view, the Northern sea route (NSR) looks reasonable and promising route, since it’s under ideal conditions, reduces the transport of cargo from Asia to Europe and back for ten days compared to the traditional route through the Suez canal, and by four days compared to shipping through the Panama canal.Of course, this will have a significant impact on the cost of fuel, however, should take into account that currently, the ice frees the way for navigation only four months a year, from June to September.If you try to answer the question of what makes the Northern sea route and the Arctic region as a whole more attractive for these countries, first of all, we are talking about a great advantage for Maritime transport, as well as on commodity prices, especially oil and natural gas.Regardless of whether the joint development of SMEs globally significant event, we can confidently assert that this step will contribute to reduce the dependence of China and Russia from other world powers, especially the United States, and will pave the way for their greater independence, both economically and politically.

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