China proposes 'Polar Silk Road' cooperation in Arctic region

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/26 14:15:50

China published a white paper on its Arctic policy Friday, pledging cooperative governance and elaborating on a vision of "Polar Silk Road." 

The move would help deepen knowledge of the area and better protect it, a Chinese expert said. 

"China, as a responsible major country, is ready to cooperate with all relevant parties to seize the historic opportunity in the development of the Arctic to address the challenges brought by changes in the region," according to the white paper issued by the State Council Information Office.

"The white paper explained the reasons for China's participation in Arctic affairs, which honors its international responsibilities and is consistent with international laws. It stated China's basic principles in conducting activities in the region - respect, cooperation, win-win result and sustainability," Dong Yue, a research fellow at the Polar Research Institute of the Ocean University of China, told the Global Times on Friday.

"China would respect the existing order, international rules and laws, and sovereignty and interests of claimants. China's activities in the area would not go against the existing governance system or international morality," Dong said.

The white paper said, "While pursuing its own interests, China will respect the interests of other countries and the broader international community." Being committed to the existing framework of international law and rules, China would like to build and maintain "a just, reasonable and well-organized Arctic governance system."

China will also regulate and manage Arctic-related affairs and activities within its jurisdiction in accordance with the law, steadily enhance its ability to understand, protect and develop the Arctic, and actively participate in international cooperation in Arctic affairs.

China has also tried to expand the current governance by proposing win-win result and sustainability as it is a practice of Chinese President Xi Jinping's vision of building a community with a shared future for human beings, Dong said.

Dong said that some countries and overseas scholars are hostile toward China's activities based on their bias. Instead of simply claiming sovereignty over an area, China's proposals on dealing with some shared problems, including the "Polar Silk Road," aim to deepen the knowledge of the Arctic areas and better develop and protect the region.

The country would like to "jointly understand, protect, develop and participate in the governance of the Arctic, and advance Arctic-related cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative," according to the white paper.

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road initiative), an important initiative of China, will bring opportunities for parties concerned to jointly build a "Polar Silk Road," and facilitate connectivity and sustainable economic and social development of the Arctic, the white paper noted.

China hopes to work with all parties to build a "Polar Silk Road" by developing Arctic shipping routes, according to the white paper.

Chinese enterprises are encouraged to participate in infrastructure development for these routes and conduct trial commercial voyages in line with the law.

Xinhua contributes to the story

Full Text

Full text: China's Arctic Policy (1) 

Full text: China's Arctic Policy (2) 

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Posted in: POLITICS

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