CSR 2020: Two Paths to the Arctic: Analyzing Chinese and Japanese Advances

By Hope Parker

Hope Parker is a second-year M.A. candidate at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, concentrating in International Politics with a minor in China Studies. Her research focuses on China’s maritime expansion and China-Southeast Asia relations. Previously, Hope interned at the U.S. Consulate General Shanghai and currently she is a 2019-2020 Boren Fellow. She can be reached at hopeparker@outlook.com.


Climate change has led to severe ice melting in the Arctic, which has opened up sea-routes for maritime trade and eased access to resources in the region. Both of these issues are of more than passing interest to China and Japan.[i] However, as countries with no territorial claims in the region, both China and Japan need to cooperate with the states that comprise the Arctic Council to achieve their respective goals in the Arctic region.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Japan applied for permanent observer status in the Council 2006 and 2009, respectively. In 2013, the Arctic Council granted them both permanent observer status at the Kiruna meeting.[ii]

The full members of the Arctic Council are states that possess Arctic territory, including the Arctic littoral states of Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and the United States as well as states with territory within the Arctic Circle: Finland, Iceland, and Sweden. Russia and Canada each lay the largest claims to territory in the Arctic, but there are many overlapping territorial claims among countries in the Arctic Council and management of competing claims remains unclear. The Arctic Council has yet to determine the legal framework under which the Arctic territory should be governed. Some states advocate for applying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as a mechanism to resolve the disputes, but there are arguments that the UNCLOS does not completely apply. Further, states with significant territorial claims oppose using the UNCLOS legal framework because it could decrease their unilateral use of the territory.[iii]

Although China and Japan have similar regional interests and both advocate using UNCLOS to govern Arctic issues, Arctic states have reacted differently to each country’s respective Arctic interests. Specifically, Arctic states express greater concern about China’s interests and plans in the Arctic.[iv] This essay compares China’s and Japan’s Arctic policies and activities to assess how each country’s approach may be affecting the level of concern among Arctic states.  Analyzing how their goals are being realized through policy and behavior sheds light on Arctic states’ concerns. Ultimately, this essay finds that China has a more assertive policy in the Arctic than Japan does. China has pursued more unilateral and bilateral programs in the Arctic, whereas Japan has emphasized its role through the Arctic Council. This more assertive approach on the part of China has created backlash from the Arctic states. The difference in methods that each state has used—China’s unilateral and bilateral approach versus Japan’s multilateral-based approach—has led to concern about China and greater acceptance of Japan’s Arctic goals.

Frosty Reception

Russia and Canada initially resisted Chinese and Japanese participation in the Arctic Council due to fears of further internationalizing disputes over competing territorial claims and decreasing their own agency over those disputes.[v] However, both states eventually relented and admitted China and Japan as permanent observer states to the Arctic Council due to new rules governing the status of permanent observers and because both Russia and Canada need foreign support for investment and development of the Arctic.[vi] Specifically, the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and the Northwest Passage (NWP) both require significant foreign financial investment in order to develop them into the sea-lanes that Canada and Russia hope to profit from. Other countries, including China and Japan, can provide the necessary financing to help Russia and Canada develop these sea-lanes.[vii] Consequently, although granting permanent observer status to China and Japan would open up governance of the territory to more voices, Russia and Canada agreed because it would help them achieve their own goals related to sea-route development.

Conversely, the Nordic states hoped to improve the Arctic Council’s governance capabilities and importance through more international participation.[viii] Nordic states were particularly interested in Northeast Asian countries’ participation because these countries have strong research, knowledge, and technological capabilities for polar conditions.[ix] Through cooperation with Northeast Asian countries, the Nordic states could improve their own capabilities and research in the Arctic. However, Nordic states have also expressed concern over China’s goals in the Arctic.[x] In articles about China’s Arctic program, China has been characterized as “The Dragon [that] Looks North” and “The Dragon [that] Eyes the Top of the World.”[xi] Some Arctic states are concerned that China is interested in having more influence in the Arctic Council than its permanent observer status provides for. In contrast, the media has paid less attention to Japan’s Arctic policies. Further, when considering Asian states’ applications to the Arctic Council, members were more willing to accept Japan and South Korea, but debated China’s potential influence in the Arctic.[xii] Representatives of the Arctic states themselves have shown more concern over China’s Arctic policies than those of Japan.

Arctic Programs in Japan and China: Theoretical Approaches

The research examining China’s and Japan’s entry into the Arctic Council and participation in Arctic affairs often bundles China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea together, studying Northeast Asian programs collectively, rather than the actions of individual countries. This method limits understanding of each state’s behavior and how it has affected the Arctic states’ reception of them individually. The literature on Nordic countries’ interests in China’s and Japan’s participation in Arctic affairs focuses on three areas: the economic and strategic benefits (scientific, technological, and economic contributions) China and Japan may bring; maintenance of peace and stability in the region by avoiding exclusivity; and the fear of pushing Northeast Asian states toward other groups to cooperate on Arctic issues (i.e., the United Nations and the International Maritime Organization).[xiii] Although these ideas generally apply to all of the East Asian observer states, they do not address the specific concerns that each state introduces. Given differing reactions to China and Japan, research should differentiate between the two countries.

This essay hypothesizes that the differing reactions to China and Japan are based on China’s more aggressive Arctic policy and behavior. If correct, the goals articulated in Chinese policy documents, and China’s actions in the Arctic, will be broader and indicate more interest in participating in Arctic governance than Japan’s documents and actions. Policies express what a government plans to do and how it will attempt to reach its goals, which could prompt concern from other countries. In assessing China’s and Japan’s Arctic programs, this essay consults each state’s primary Arctic policy documents in addition to analyzing the tools and capabilities that each has developed for Arctic travel and exploration.

The following sections will first outline China’s Arctic interests, actions, and policies before turning to those of Japan. After explaining the status of each state’s Arctic program, the next section compares the two states to shed light on how their differing policies and behaviors may be affecting their respective receptions. The final section returns to the initial hypothesis: that China’s pursuit of unilateral and bilateral Arctic programs, in lieu of multilateral cooperation, has created doubt about the state’s future intentions in the eyes of Arctic states.


Interests in the Arctic

China has a high dependence on foreign energy imports and the Chinese economy is reliant on international trade, making the Arctic region important to the Chinese government.[xiv] In 2018, China consumed 13.5 million barrels of oil per day.[xv] China’s metal consumption has also increased with economic development. Whereas in the late 1990s, China was responsible for ten percent of world metal consumption, by 2010 it was responsible for 25 percent, and in 2014 that number had reached 46 percent.[xvi] As the Arctic territory is rich in previously unreachable energy resources and precious metals, engaging in resource extraction in the territory could help China diversify its growing foreign resource dependency away from Middle East imports. As these resources are necessary for China’s continued economic growth and stability, China has an interest in obtaining its resources from more stable regions.[xvii] In 2017, trade comprised 38 percent of China’s GDP.[xviii] Of the world’s top twenty shipping container terminals, seven are Chinese ports.[xix] In terms of manufactured goods and maritime trade, the Arctic routes could significantly shorten the distance that Chinese ships and products need to cover. The route from Shanghai to Hamburg via the NSR is 3,455 nautical miles (nm) shorter than the route that uses the Strait of Malacca and the Suez Canal. Passage through the Barents Sea also reduces this trip by over 3,955 nm.[xx]

Consequently, China argues that the Arctic should be governed by the UNCLOS, which grants innocent passage rights through international straits and gives high sea status to Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).[xxi]In effect, putting the Arctic area under the UNCLOS regime would give  China and other non-Arctic states the right to use the Arctic sea routes as they would use any other international shipping lane. Arctic states have not achieved agreement on the applicability of the UNCLOS to the Arctic region—China’s stance agrees with some Arctic states, but opposes some others, including Russia and Canada.[xxii]

Maneuvering in the Arctic Territory and its Politics

After being awarded observer status in the Arctic Council in 2013, China began pursuing closer relations with Iceland and Norway.[xxiii] China has also invested in bilateral relationships with Iceland and Norway. In the 2008 financial crisis, China offered Iceland assistance through a currency swap program.[xxiv] China has also conducted formal dialogues with Norway about Arctic issues to improve their relations.[xxv] In 2010, China positioned itself for better access to the Arctic via the Sea of Japan by beginning a ten year lease of the Port of Rason in North Korea.[xxvi] China has also conducted Arctic research at a research base in Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, and through expeditions.[xxvii] China has relatively robust Arctic capabilities as a non-Arctic state—it has four icebreakers in total and two icebreakers that are intended primarily for use in polar regions: Xuelong and Xuelong II.[xxviii]Icebreakers improve the operability of a country’s ships in the Arctic. Although sea-lanes are emerging as the perennial ice melts, ships may still encounter ice as they pass through the sea-lines, requiring some ice-breaking capabilities in order to clear the way for trade and research ships. States with more icebreakers are better prepared for Arctic trade and exploration.

Additionally, Chinese investors have expressed interest in buying large pieces of land in Iceland, including one attempt to buy 115 square miles of Icelandic farmland. The government prevented the sale by invoking Icelandic law, which states that only Icelandic nationals, citizens of the European Economic Area, or foreigners who have resided in Iceland for at least five years may purchase land.[xxix] In 2013, the Chinese phone company Huawei also expressed its goal to establish broadband service in all of Svalbard.[xxx] Svalbard is not a heavily populated area, prompting questions about why Huawei believes broadband service is necessary in the region. Overall, these actions imply that China’s interests go beyond research and determining a governance framework for the region. For a non-Arctic state, China has strong capabilities for travel into the Arctic and clearly plans to make use of the territory through the North Korean port and establishing a business presence there.

Stated Aims: China’s Policies in the Arctic

In China’s 2018 White Paper on Arctic Policy, the government describes China as “an active participant, builder and contributor in Arctic affairs.”[xxxi] The government also refers to China as a “Near-Arctic State,” a term used for the first time in the White Paper. The White Paper asserts China’s  rights in “scientific research, navigation, overflight, fishing, laying of submarine cables and pipelines in the high seas and other relevant sea areas in the Arctic Ocean, and rights to resource exploration and exploitation in the Area, pursuant to treaties such as the UNCLOS and general international law.”[xxxii] In the policy statements, China positions itself as a stakeholder in Arctic affairs, claims rights to economic interests in the Arctic, and asserts that the UNCLOS is the proper framework to govern the Arctic territory. China’s Arctic policy also expresses the country’s intentions to build a Polar Silk Road, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, entailing a trade route with international cooperation through the Arctic.[xxxiii] The White Paper asserts three other goals for China in the Arctic: exploration and exploitation of resources (oil, gas, mineral, and other non-living resources), developing the Arctic tourism industry as Chinese tourists visit the Arctic, and participating in Arctic governance and international governance.[xxxiv] This final goal refers to China’s status in the Arctic Council as well as their bilateral cooperation programs, such as the 2012 Framework Agreement on Arctic Cooperation between China and Iceland and the Sino-Russian Arctic dialogues dating back to 2013.[xxxv]

Given that China possesses no Arctic territory, some claim that China has no rights to usage or governance of the territory, except those that Arctic states have granted it. In contrast, China expresses that it does have rights to participate in Arctic affairs, largely through the claim that portions of the territory should be considered high seas and exclusive economic zones. China’s self-bestowed title of “Near-Arctic State,” the plans for a Polar Silk Road, and the idea that they plan to extract resources from the region pose a challenge to the idea that Arctic states should have preference in determining governance and usage of the territory.


Interests in the Arctic

Japan’s interests in the Arctic lie in the shorter trade routes that the region may afford it, as well as the newly accessible resources in the region. The sea route between Hamburg and Yokohama via the Suez Canal is about 11,500 nm, whereas the NSR decreases that length by about 40 percent to about 6,900 nm.[xxxvi] The shorter route is advantageous for Japan’s shipping industry. In addition to having major exports of manufactured goods, such as vehicles and electronics, the maritime shipping industry itself has a strong presence in Japan’s economy and therefore has influence over political decisions. Shorter routes would save trade ships time, energy, and money. In terms of energy resources, after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and the subsequent nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan shut down most of their 54 nuclear power plants, forcing them to look for other energy sources.[xxxvii] Arctic resources could fill the gap in Japan’s energy supplies without requiring as much foreign dependence. From Japan’s view, increased cooperation with Arctic states could ease access (in the form of licensing and bilateral agreements) to Arctic energy resources that are currently under national control.[xxxviii] In addition, applying article 136 of the UNCLOS legal framework would free areas up to international drilling.[xxxix] The country’s research programs focused on energy resources in the Arctic demonstrate its interest in using Arctic resources to fulfill its energy needs.[xl]

Like China, Japan also argues that the Arctic should be governed by the UNCLOS and be considered “part of the common heritage of mankind.”[xli] Overall, Japan’s foreign policy is guided by an “Iron Triangle:” the civil service, politicians, and business.[xlii] Although businesses are not part of the government, their interests are important to government agencies, giving them a role, especially in foreign policy. In this instance, the business interests of the shipping industry have pushed Japan’s government into a more active Arctic policy.[xliii] In addition to its significant interests in shipping and energy resources, Japan makes an effort to emphasize its interest in the environmental issues in the Arctic. The country’s Arctic policies highlight the need for multilateral environmental cooperation for sustainable global development and the need to stay in line with the Kyoto Protocol.[xliv]This focus is in stark contrast to that of China: China’s policies reference environmental concerns, but it is not a focus of the country’s programs in the territory.

Maneuvering in the Arctic Territory and its Politics

After attaining permanent observer status on the Arctic Council in 2013, Japan’s programs in the Arctic have focused on its well-developed science and technology sector.[xlv] The country established a research station at Ny-Alesund on Svalbard in 1991.[xlvi] The Ocean Policy Research Foundation (OPRF) is a Japanese think tank and lobbying organization. It has cooperated with the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Norway and the Central Marine Research and Design Institute in Russia to research environmental concerns in the Arctic.[xlvii] Two of the major research programs include the International Northern Sea Route Program (INSROP), and the Japan Northern Sea Route Program (JANSROP).[xlviii]JANSROP has researched the feasibility of the Japanese shipping industry’s use of the NSR.[xlix]From 2002 to 2006, JANSROP brought together scientists and experts from Russia, Norway, Canada, and Japan to study the eastern part of the NSR and the Sea of Okhotsk as well as to update the information on natural resources in the area.[l] Japan also contributed to the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), a working group on the Arctic Council.[li] AMAP provides guidance on policy through its research specifically on the effects of pollution and climate change on the Arctic region.[lii] In addition to these research programs, Japan owns three icebreakers: Shirase, part of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, as well as Soya, and Teshio, both of which are owned by the Japanese Coast Guard and used as patrol boats, limiting their usage.[1] Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution restricts the country’s use of force to self-defense purposes and the coast guard is meant to patrol the country’s coastline, assuaging any fears that Japan might militarize the Arctic or have undue presence in the region.[liii] Consequently, Japanese actions in the Arctic are comparatively restrained as opposed to those of China.

Stated Aims: Japan’s Policies in the Arctic

In Japan’s policy documents, the government focuses on environmental concerns and how the country’s research and science capabilities can benefit Arctic management. Since the mid-1980s, sea-levels in Japan’s coastal regions have consistently risen, including in the capital city of Tokyo.[liv]Although the resource extraction and shorter sea-routes are of immediate interest to Japan, “Japan’s Arctic Policy” and the country’s “Basic Plan on Ocean Policy” both point out that environmental management and sustainability are of prime concern as well. “Japan’s Arctic Policy” claims, “Japan is called upon to recognize both the Arctic’s latent possibilities and its vulnerability to environmental changes, and to play a leading role for sustainable development in the Arctic in the international community with foresight and policy based on science and technology that Japan has advantage in order to achieve sustainable development.”[lv] These policy documents highlight Japan’s involvement in Arctic research and development, such as establishing research networks and an observation station, dedicating resources to training researchers, and considering the development of a new research vessel for the Arctic.[lvi]

Japan’s “Basic Plan on Ocean Policy” places a higher emphasis on Japan’s cooperation with other states and involvement in international organizations in the Arctic. The plan stresses that “science and technology are Japan’s greatest strength[s]” and they can use those strengths to carve out a role for Japan in Arctic governance, by benefiting other states.[lvii] “Japan’s Arctic Policy” and the “Basic Plan on Ocean Policy” express goals of: establishing more international research collaboration, in particular increasing research on the social and economic impacts of Arctic issues; developing satellites, research stations, research rigs, and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs); and upgrading microwave radiometers for sea ice observation.[lviii] Japan will pay attention to the Arctic Council and participate in Arctic governance through its framework.[lix] The government is interested in developing more international rules through bilateral dialogues to protect freedom of navigation based on the UNCLOS.[lx] These policies place an emphasis on research projects to understand the Arctic region and its potential relevance to environmental problems. Japan’s plans for research in combination with its multilateral methods present a relatively small challenge to Arctic states and their interests in the region.

The Environment and Cooperation versus the Economy and Assertiveness

China and Japan lay out very similar reasons for wanting more access to the Arctic. For China, international trade is a key economic driver, and shorter trade routes would decrease costs, benefiting the economy. Japan has a large shipping industry, which would benefit from the shortened trade routes in the north and which has some influence over foreign policy through business interests. Although China’s trade volume is much larger Japan’s, trade-related industries are a significant percentage of both economies: in 2018 China’s trade comprised 38.246 percent of GDP and Japan’s trade comprised 36.641 percent of GDP.[lxi] Additionally, each advocates the use of the UNCLOS in governance of the Arctic region. However, they have used differing methods to achieve their similar goals.

Based on policy documents and actions, China is pursuing more of its interests bilaterally and unilaterally. Whereas Japan is looking to strengthen its Arctic position through the Arctic Council, China is attempting to do the same through bilateral relations with Arctic states and by making itself more important in the region (i.e., through the Polar Silk Road). Some may point out that Japan has been developing bilateral and multilateral ties with foreign countries for a longer period of time, meaning (1) foreign countries already have more trust in Japan and (2) Japan has more of a foundation on which to improve multilateral relations and achieve goals multilaterally. However, this counterargument overlooks each country’s present-day behavior. China has opportunities to pursue its goals multilaterally—through its observer status in the Arctic Council—but has continued to favor unilateral and bilateral methods. Japan has expressed interest in developing more capabilities for the Arctic, while China has asserted its rights under the UNCLOS, unilaterally named itself a “Near-Arctic State,” begun the Polar Silk Road project, explored energy resources in the region, and developed tourism resources for Chinese tourists.

Other countries largely have not accepted or approved of these initiatives proposed by China. The “Near-Arctic State” title has not gained traction in international forums and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went so far as to actively reject the title during a speech in Finland.[lxii] China’s White Papers have claimed that their Arctic programs are partially meant to facilitate Chinese tourism in the region, but Arctic states have opposed and prevented actions by the government, businesses, and private individuals that might attract Chinese tourism. Beyond media- and rhetoric-based disputes, Iceland and Norway each showed concern about Chinese involvement in the territory through efforts to stop land sales and the Huawei deal.

Japan’s goals are based on cooperation, international interests, and mitigation of climate change. Japan has framed itself as a potential leader in research and technology through its policy papers, but has not taken the same recent actions as China to lead projects it is interested in. Although some observers claim that these policy paper analyses are only the product of China’s visible promotion of its actions, even this publicity testifies to a stronger, more aggressive policy in the Arctic from China than from Japan. China’s unilateral and bilateral methods in comparison to Japan’s multilateral approach provides a link between each country’s Arctic programs and their differing reception from Arctic States. Japan’s pursuit of its goals through the existent multilateral Arctic Council poses less of a challenge to the Arctic states’ own interests than does China’s approach.

[i] Kenneth J. Bird et al., “Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: Estimates of Undiscovered Oil and Gas North of the Arctic Circle,” U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2008-3049, July 23, 2008, https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2008/3049/.

[ii] India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore were also granted permanent observer status at the Kiruna meeting. Aki Tonami, “The Arctic Policy of China and Japan: Multi-Layered Economic and Strategic Motivations,” The Polar Journal 4, no. 1 (January 2, 2014): 105, https://doi.org/10.1080/2154896X.2014.913931.

[iii] Scott G. Borgerson, “Arctic Meltdown – The Economic and Security Implications of Global Warming Essay,” Foreign Affairs 87 (2008): 116.

[iv] Leiv Lunde, “The Nordic Embrace: Why the Nordic Countries Welcome Asia to the Arctic Table,” Asia Policy 18, no. 1 (2014): 44, https://doi.org/10.1353/asp.2014.0020.

[v] Kaisa Pulkkinen, “The Arctic Council and the Northeast Asian Observers” (Stockholm, Sweden, November 2013), 262.

[vi] Observer states may not make financial contributions to Arctic Council work that are greater than those from Arctic states unless given approval. Per Erik Solli, Elana Wilson Rowe, and Wrenn Yennie Lindgren, “Coming into the Cold: Asia’s Arctic Interests,” Polar Geography 36, no. 4 (December 2013): 256, https://doi.org/10.1080/1088937X.2013.825345.

[vii] Kaisa Pulkkinen, “The Arctic Council and the Northeast Asian Observers,” 36.

[viii] Lunde, “The Nordic Embrace,” 44.

[ix] Kaisa Pulkkinen, “The Arctic Council and the Northeast Asian Observers,” 43.

[x] Michael Wills et al., “Polar Pursuits: Asia Engages the Arctic,” Asia Policy, no. 18 (July 2014): 49.

[xi] Michael Wills et al., 49.

[xii] Michael Wills et al., 20.

[xiii] Kaisa Pulkkinen, “The Arctic Council and the Northeast Asian Observers,” 5.

[xiv] Gang Chen, “China’s Emerging Arctic Strategy,” The Polar Journal 2, no. 2 (December 2012): 367, https://doi.org/10.1080/2154896X.2012.735039.

[xv] Geoffrey Kemp, ed., “Strategic Issues and the Maritime Environment: Cooperation, Competition, and Conflict,” in The East Moves West, 2nd ed., India, China, and Asia’s Growing Presence in the Middle East (Brookings Institution Press, 2012), 174–228, http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt4cg8h3.11.

[xvi] “Commodity Special Feature,” World Economic Outlook, October 2015, 44.

[xvii] ZhongXiang Zhang, “China’s Energy Security, the Malacca Dilemma and Responses,” Energy Policy 39, no. 12 (December 2011): 7613, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2011.09.033.

[xviii] “Trade (% of GDP) | Data,” World Bank, accessed May 24, 2019, https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.TRD.GNFS.ZS?locations=CN.

[xix] Nong Hong, “The Melting Arctic and Its Impact on China’s Maritime Transport,” Research in Transportation Economics 35, no. 1 (May 2012): 51, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.retrec.2011.11.003.

[xx] Hong, 52.

[xxi] Tom Røseth, “Russia’s China Policy in the Arctic,” Strategic Analysis, November 18, 2014, 852, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09700161.2014.952942.

[xxii] Hiromitsu Kitagawa, “Arctic Routing: Challenges and Opportunities,” WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs 7, no. 2 (October 2008): 498, https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03195147; Borgerson, “Arctic Meltdown,” 73.

[xxiii] Tonami, “The Arctic Policy of China and Japan,” 105.

[xxiv] Tonami, 108.

[xxv] Margaret Blunden, “Geopolitics and the Northern Sea Route,” International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-) 88, no. 1 (2012): 127.

[xxvi] It is unclear whether China is planning to renew the lease in 2020. Blunden, 127.

[xxvii] State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, “White Paper: China’s Arctic Policy” (2018), http://english.gov.cn/archive/white_paper/2018/01/26/content_281476026660336.htm.

[xxviii] Nuclear power gives icebreakers a longer range of travel and more power. In contrast, the United States has five total icebreakers, none with nuclear power, and four of the five are smaller than all of China’s. Caitlin Campbell, “China and the Arctic: Objectives and Obstacles,” April 13, 2012, 4, http://library.arcticportal.org/1677/1/China-and-the-Arctic_Apr2012.pdf; Franz-Stefan Gady, “China Launches First Domestically Built Polar Icebreaker,” The Diplomat, accessed May 29, 2019, https://thediplomat.com/2018/09/china-launches-first-domestically-built-polar-icebreaker/; William Woityra, “Major Icebreakers of the World,” May 1, 2017.

[xxix] Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir, “Iceland Plans to Shut the Door on Chinese Investors, Again,” Bloomberg Businessweek, September 6, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-05/iceland-plans-to-shut-the-door-on-chinese-investors-again.

[xxx] Lunde, “The Nordic Embrace,” 44.

[xxxi] State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, White Paper: China’s Arctic Policy, 2.

[xxxii] State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, 2–3.

[xxxiii] State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, 3.

[xxxiv] State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, 8.

[xxxv] State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, 8.

[xxxvi] Fujio Ohnishi, “The Process of Formulating Japan’s Arctic Policy: From Involvement to Engagement,” East Asia-Arctic Relations: Boundary, Security and International Politics, November 2013, 4.

[xxxvii] Aki Tonami and Stewart Watters, “Japan’s Arctic Policy: The Sum of Many Parts,” in Arctic Yearbook 2012, 2012, 55.

[xxxviii] Michael Wills et al., “Polar Pursuits,” 57.

[xxxix] “Convention on the Law of the Sea” (United Nations, November 1, 1994), 70, http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf.

[xl] “Japan’s Arctic Policy” (Longyearbyen Research Site, National Institute of Polar Research, October 16, 2015), 6.

[xli] Blunden, “Geopolitics and the Northern Sea Route,” 125.

[xlii] Blunden, 125.

[xliii] Tonami and Watters, “Japan’s Arctic Policy,” 94.

[xliv] “Japan’s Arctic Policy,” 3.

[xlv] Ohnishi, “The Process of Formulating Japan’s Arctic Policy,” 3.

[xlvi] Ohnishi, 2.

[xlvii] Tonami, “The Arctic Policy of China and Japan,” 119.

[xlviii] Tonami, 119.

[xlix] Michael Wills et al., “Polar Pursuits,” 48–49.

[l] Kitagawa, “Arctic Routing,” 491–92.

[li] Solli, Wilson Rowe, and Yennie Lindgren, “Coming into the Cold,” 258.

[lii] “About | Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme | AMAP,” accessed February 4, 2020, https://www.amap.no/about.

[liii] Tonami, “The Arctic Policy of China and Japan,” 116.

[liv] “Sea Level (around Japan)” (Tokyo, Japan, February 15, 2019), https://www.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/kaiyou/english/sl_trend/sea_level_around_japan.html.

[lv] “Japan’s Arctic Policy,” 2.

[lvi] “Japan’s Arctic Policy,” 7.

[lvii] “The Basic Plan on Ocean Policy,” May 15, 2018, 37.

[lviii] “The Basic Plan on Ocean Policy,” 106.

[lix] “The Basic Plan on Ocean Policy,” 109.

[lx] “The Basic Plan on Ocean Policy,” 107.

[lxi] “Trade (% of GDP) – China, Japan,” accessed January 26, 2019, https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.TRD.GNFS.ZS?locations=CN-JP.

[lxii] David Auerswald, “China’s Multifaceted Arctic Strategy,” War on the Rocks (blog), May 24, 2019, https://warontherocks.com/2019/05/chinas-multifaceted-arctic-strategy/.

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