Previously, China had published a white paper in early 2018 known as “Polar Silk Road”. Now, they have made their intentions clear to expand in the Arctic region.
Due to climate change, the ice-covered parts of the Arctic Ocean begin to melt; China has signalled its interest in participating in building the “Polar Silk Road”, and raised a prospect for the development of a new sea route.
The Xinhua News Agency or New China News Agency cited the outline of the draft for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for social development and national economic development. Also, certain long-term objectives to attain till the year 2035.
Both plans are given to China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) and the country’s Parliament on Friday. Connecting the Pacific with the Atlantic oceans, the Transpolar Sea Route which is also known as TSR will pass close to the North Pole and cut the Arctic Ocean centre.
Meanwhile, building Polar Silk Road in the Arctic Ocean can reduce distances for global trade. However, this region generally remains frozen for many years. Hence, it becomes difficult to criss-cross these two Arctic shipping routes, i.e. the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post mentioned a research paper earlier.
As per the white paper released in early 2018, it is clear that China will expand in the Arctic region. Also, it has already highlighted its strategies to take part with its multibillion-dollar Belt Road Initiative (BRI). China revealed the Belt Road Initiative in the year 2013 with a motive to link Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe, and the Gulf region with a network of sea routes and land.