Tuesday, March 9, 2010

China Lays Claim To The Arctic

The wording of a sign erected by scientists near their North Pole camp in 2003 had to be changed because the ice was drifting 400 yards an hour. (Credit: Andrew C. Revkin/The New York Times)

China’s Arctic Play -- Gordon G. Chang, The Diplomat

An admiral stakes a territorial claim—and it looks like there’s more to come.

‘The Arctic belongs to all the people around the world as no nation has sovereignty over it.’ So said Chinese Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo, in comments relayed by the official China News Service on March 5 that essentially staked Beijing’s claim to the North Pole.

Of course, China, lacking an Arctic coast, has no recognizable right to any portion of the roof of the world. The five Arctic littoral states—Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States—do, however, and their overlapping claims remain unresolved.

Read more ....

My Comment: Being a Canadian who lived in the North for a brief time (Kuujjuaq, Quebec to be exact), this story hits me on many levels. When I finished reading the article, I immediately contacted a friend of mine who has a senior position in the Canadian Government. He did not believe me until I emailed him this article. To say that he found the entire Chinese position incredulous is an understatement .... but it appears that this is the position of the Chinese Government, and it will resonate with almost every other country in the world.

In the real world there is no way that China or any other country that does not have a boundary with the north will be able to enforce any type of claim. This is all theater, a position to extract other concessions or favors .... but credit must be given to where credit is due. On this issue China will enjoy the support of most countries in the world .... and that is what it only probably realistically expects.

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