Deng Beixi

China’s engagement in Arctic resource development represents an option that guarantees its diversification of energy supply. It could be influenced by multifaceted factors, ranging from the changing landscape ofArctic geopolitics, the resource development policies of Arctic states, and certain realistic restrictions affecting economic viability and operational feasibility. This article argues that accessibility, specifically reliable, economical and time-saving maritime connections linking the Arctic resource production sites with the extra-regional market plays a decisive role in shaping China’s interests in the Arctic resource development. China’s investment in Russia’s Yamal Arctic LNG project is such a case in point. It demonstrates the complementarity and mutual reinforcement between the use of Arctic shipping routes and the development of Arctic resources. The added value of Arctic shipping to China’s engagement in Arctic resources development lies in that it not only facilitates the distribution of Arctic resources to the Chinese market in a reliable and economical approach, but also brings China’s expertise in permafrost engineering into the global oil/gas market and fosters China’s all-round engagement in the Arctic regional economic development.

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