The interest of China in the Arctic Region is by now unveiled and evident to the totality of the stakeholders dealing with Arctic issues. Although such interest is quite recent (it traces back to the beginning of the new millennium), China has clear idea about the potentialities of the Arctic Region in terms of natural resources as well as regarding the profitability of shipping through the Northern Sea Route. In this context, the admission of China in the Arctic Council with the role of observer should be considered as a shift in the way in which Arctic issues are perceived by Arctic countries: from a regional dimension to a global one. Having the possibility to seat in the Council will give to China the opportunity to play a key role in participating in the definition of Arctic-related policies in the near future. Anyhow, if China wants to play a real key-role in the Arctic, while acting as a responsible global power, it must address some issues still unsolved in its national framework, precisely: recognising the existence of indigenous people within its national borders and ensuring them the enjoyment of their rights (in so doing, China will be ready to recognise the particular features and needs of indigenous people living in the Arctic) and defining a comprehensive Arctic strategy in which sustainable development is put at the top of the agenda.
Field of science
- International political science