Vasilii Erokhin, Gao Tianming & Zhang Xiuhua

During recent years, growing exploration of natural resources and development of transport routes have reemerged in the Arctic as a scene for political and economic collaboration between Nordic and non-regional states. Being a non-Arctic country, China nevertheless has played an active role in the elaboration of international regulations and the establishment of governance mechanisms in the Arctic. The country has recently released a White Paper on the Arctic Policy and thus prioritized scientific research, underscored the importance of environmental protection, rational utilization, law-based governance, and international cooperation, and committed itself to maintaining a peaceful, secure and stable Arctic order. Diversified transportation routes and economic corridors are of paramount importance to such global trading nations as China. However, an extension of the economic corridors to the Arctic is viable only in the case of development of satellite trade, production, and research opportunities along the potential transport routes. In this study, the authors discuss the critical points in the implementation of China’s paradigm of collaboration and connectivity in the Arctic, as well as focus on the promotion of bilateral win-to-win investment and trade projects with the countries along the potential Arctic Blue Economic Corridor (ABEC). The authors conclude that the ABEC may be efficiently incorporated into China’s Belt and Road network, but emphasize that specific technological and economic challenges have to be considered and met before a sustainable connectivity between the markets of Asia and Europe is established in the Arctic.

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