China in the Arctic – Implications of China’s Arrival in an Ice-Free Arctic


  1. Christensen, K.D.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN)
This research paper assesses the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) long-term interests and activities in the Arctic. It is aimed at assessing China’s interests in the Arctic, its current activities, and its motivation for allocating increased resources for high Arctic research. This includes a thorough review of Beijing’s potential geostrategic interests in the Arctic. This research paper also supports two Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Applied Research Projects (ARPs). It supports ARP 10aa15, “Arctic Security and Sovereignty Assessment,” and ARP 10aa16, “The Rise of China: Strategic Assessment and Implications for Canadian Security.” The research paper assesses China’s interests and activities in the Arctic by analyzing existing data, research, and literature on China’s preparations for a climate changed and potentially ice-reduced Arctic. Research is based on an analysis of open source literature, electronic sources, published and unpublished reports and papers, and interviews. The major conclusions to be drawn from this study are that China’s activities in the Arctic have not been of the military variety, nor does it appear China will become militarily involved in the Arctic in the near-term. China’s involvement in the Arctic is focused on the scientific, environmental, and climatic consequences of melting sea ice, as well as the commercial and economic benefits of melting Arctic sea ice. This will also be the first time in the

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Arctic Archipelago;Arctic;Arctic Transit Routes;Canadian Arctic;Canadian Navy;China;Circumpolar Security;Climate Change;Maritime Security;Natural Resources;Northern Transit Routes;Oil and Gas;Resources;Transit Routes;UNCLOS
Report Number
DRDC-CORA-TM-2011-196 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Nov 2011
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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