Military Review

Dragon in the Arctic. New Silk Road will become polar

The State Council of the People's Republic of China has published a White Paper on the Arctic policy of the state. China does not have its own territory in the Arctic, but Beijing considers itself to be the “interested party” in the affairs of the Arctic. The new Silk Road became “polar”. Analysts say that within the framework of the Chinese initiatives, Russia has a chance to build partnerships in the development of the Northern Sea Route.

What does a “dragon” need in the Arctic? After all, China does not have its own territory in the Arctic. The answer is simple: China needs trade sea routes. And strengthening through such commercial relations with different countries. China produces a lot and therefore wants to sell a lot. And in order to sell, we need “ways” all over the planet. And the Arctic will not be an exception: after all, routes through it will reduce many traditional ways of cargo delivery.

26 January Beijing quite openly and officially announced the development of the initiative of the Polar Silk Road. We are talking about the creation of maritime trade routes in the Arctic.

Such a loud undertaking can be considered as another economic step in the development of the Middle Kingdom, the outcome of which will be another milestone in the expansion of the “dragon” around the globe.

The message of intention to develop the initiative of the Polar Silk Road came to the Russian media from the press office of the Chinese State Council. The Office informed about the publication of the first White Paper on Chinese policy in the Arctic.

The State Council does not hide the fact that China considers itself an “important stakeholder” in Arctic affairs. The issue with the geography of the "dragon" settled as follows: the State Council noted the "geographical proximity" of China to the areas of the pole.

In addition, it is noted that the Chinese “Polar Silk Road” will become part of the general program “The Belt and the Road”, which includes the projects “Economic Belt of the Silk Road” and “Sea Silk Road of the 21st Century”.

The expansionist strategy of the PRC has every reason. In the framework of the former economic life, the “dragon” has long been close. China's foreign trade is growing rapidly and even beats records. The reason for the change in government financial strategy.

At the end of 2017, China’s foreign trade grew by 14,2%. But during the two previous years, the indicator, on the contrary, showed a downward trend. According to the General Administration of Customs of China, Chinese enterprises saved about 53,08 billion yuan per year due to the reduction of duties or exemption from them. China has revised taxation and cooperates extensively with other countries using free trade agreements. And here's the result: China’s revenues from customs duties for the past year showed a record: 1,89 trillion. yuan (about 300 billion.). how сказал the head of the department of Guangzhou, the volume of collected payments increased compared to 2016 of the year by 23,26%.

Not only the use of the sea routes, but also the exploitation of the natural resources of the Arctic can seriously affect China’s economic development. The Northern Sea Route will allow the "dragon" to quickly deliver goods to Europe. Now the road from the ports of the PRC to Rotterdam via the Suez Canal takes 48 days. And here is another example: the Arctic tanker Christophe de Margerie arrived from Norway to South Korea (without an icebreaker) and spent just a dozen days on the way. The difference is more than tripled!

The Chinese are not idle. As notes Finmarket, among the Chinese cargo ships, the Northern Sea Route (Northeast Passage) in 2013 was first mastered the first Yong Sheng. In the summer of last year, 6 of the Chinese ships passed the same route.

In addition, in September 2017, the research vessel Xue Long flew along the Northwest Passage along the northern coast of Canada: the journey time from New York to Shanghai was thus reduced by 7 days compared to the traditional route (via the Panama Canal) .

Finally, China is one of the thirteen observer states under the Arctic Council. “Dragon” today is actively involved in addressing global and regional issues related to the Arctic: from climate change to exploration and exploitation of natural resources.

In accordance with the new White Book, “dragon” enjoys freedom and rights to navigation, fisheries, scientific research, overflight, cable laying under water and pipelines, to explore and extract natural resources in the international seabed areas and special marine areas and the Arctic the ocean. This right is enshrined in international treaties and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

For such a vague formulation is the specific interest of China: to take, if not the leading, then the leading economic positions in the Arctic region. The Chinese are assertive, enterprising and able to profit from everywhere, and therefore, of course, they will achieve their goal.

“China needs to look for new ways to develop its economy, to explore new horizons,” says Reedus Amarkets lead analyst Artem Deev. - The Celestial always has big ambitions. Probably, the Chinese intend to take a leading position in this region, although they do not have direct access to the Arctic and are unlikely to get what they want in full. Maybe Russia will support China’s aspiration, but the Scandinavian countries and America will probably not be happy with the emergence of such a major player in the region. ”

“China cannot encroach on the shelf in any way,” the expert adds, “but it may encroach on the international section of Arctic transport communications: the Northern Sea Route, the South-Western Passage, some new ones, perhaps, routes will appear. If the ice melts further, there are many different options. ” At the same time, the Arctic “way” will become a very costly project for the Chinese, the expert believes. But there is an option: the “path” will be beneficial for the “dragon” if on its territory the strongholds are provided by the “bear” - Russia. “The Arctic for navigation is a very difficult region, but, taking into account the projects that China is implementing, it is likely that this project has a chance of success,” says Deev.

As a result, we note that China and Russia have another reason for what various experts now call “partnership relations”. This time the partnership will develop around the Northern Sea Route. There is every reason for this project: Moscow itself set its sights on this route in order to supply the Chinese with what the bear economy is strong about: energy resources.

However, Moscow is now bad with money: oil in the world is not sufficiently expensive, or there is a hole in the budget, or Western sanctions are in the way. So, the calculation will be on Chinese investment in the development of the Arctic region. Experts confirm this point. “A number of experts believe that this is a promising topic: joint development of the Arctic using Chinese investment resources. They have their own experience in the construction of icebreakers and special equipment. Others believe that this is a very difficult topic and should not be much integrated with the Chinese in the exploration of the Arctic. But the process is still going quietly, ”says Nikolai Kotlyarov, head of the Russian-Chinese Center for Financial Academy under the Russian government. However, China’s “bypass Russia” will not work: it’s probably only about joint development of routes, that is, on mutually beneficial terms. What can be these conditions is not yet clear.

Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
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  1. EwgenyZ
    EwgenyZ 30 January 2018 06: 38
    "China does not have its own territory in the Arctic." Nothing, they will fill the archipelago in neutral waters (ice) and it will be!
    1. Gardamir
      Gardamir 30 January 2018 08: 48
      will fill the archipelago
      What for! Cheaper to fill in the pockets of Russian officials and they themselves organize, some kind of "Arctic Force"
      1. EwgenyZ
        EwgenyZ 30 January 2018 10: 37
        Quote: Gardamir
        What for! Cheaper to fill in the pockets of Russian officials and they themselves organize, some kind of "Arctic Force"

        It can be so, only an official can be replaced, state policy can change and you never know what else can happen, and this is already a reliable island. Although fantastic!
  2. vlad007
    vlad007 30 January 2018 08: 19
    China (CNPC) is one of the shareholders of the Yamal-LNG LNG plant (if I am not mistaken about 20% of the shares) and has a corresponding share in the manufactured products, i.e. The North Sea Route for China is already involved - there is a product and there are consumers - all of Southeast Asia.
    To what was said in the article, it should be added that passage through the Suez Canal costs money and not small ones - from 8 to 12 dollars per ton of the ship's displacement, i.e. for example, the passage of a ship with a displacement of 30 000 t costs 360000 dollars. In addition, there are queues for passage through the Suez Canal, as bandwidth is not large and this also increases time. But icebreaking assistance costs money, although with the presence of Arc7 ice-class tankers, icebreakers are practically not needed.
    The construction of the railway has now begun to the port of Sabetta. roads under the Northern Latitudinal Railway project, this infrastructure project will allow the port to be connected with the railway. the road network of all of Russia and in the same way solve the problems of delivering goods to and from there.
  3. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 30 January 2018 08: 21
    Nobody can exploit the Northern Sea Route without Russia. Generally. Therefore, this is a good idea, and very useful for our North. Let them swim. Also, railways from the Urals to the coast will greatly reduce the transport "shoulder". Another thing is not to forget about the benefits. laughing
    1. antivirus
      antivirus 30 January 2018 16: 13
      among the Chinese cargo ships, the Northern Sea Route (Northeast Passage) in 2013 mastered the first “Yong Sheng”

      in 1847 Great Britain’s expedition went into oblivion — it searched the Northwest for passage to the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic and by 50 g (found dead) it became clear that there were no conditions for navigation.
      and I wanted to get ahead of RI in the race for possession of the Pacific Ocean.
      The Crimean War happened 3 years later.
      how to write off atomic cruisers now? are they superfluous?
    2. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 2 February 2018 21: 18
      I was born on the mango-Chinese border and then many Chinese lived with us, it was after Damansky they were removed. I can say one thing, if the Chinese “got into” somewhere, then he can’t be pulled out later, and today there was one Chinese, and tomorrow there will be ten. Look at how many of them are at the DCK now, and even in St. Petersburg Matvienko wanted to build China town (God forbid!.)
      1. Reserve officer
        Reserve officer 2 February 2018 21: 26
        Vlad, I live in St. Petersburg. In the South-West. In China, China town is not official, but the Baltic Pearl microdistrict can be called such. In 10 minutes away from me - just the same Chinese settlement. And I think that this is only the beginning. No matter how sad.
  4. soldier
    soldier 30 January 2018 08: 54
    If the Arctic also turns yellow)
  5. Ural resident
    Ural resident 30 January 2018 10: 33
    China as in intelligence - builds a web all over the world. Now its rapid growth is beneficial for us to confront NATO, but no matter how it happens in the future that the States will have to support so that they weaken China. For if the latter receives world domination, it will be worse than the Anglo-Saxons.
    1. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 2 February 2018 21: 23
      It’s good to recall the words of General Denikin "... Russia now, like a hunted beast, is mowing ears, but it will recover and will be strong, but we must not forget that the new Genghis Khan is ripening in the steppes of China."
  6. Aleks2048
    Aleks2048 30 January 2018 10: 39
    The question is not whether the Chinese will come or not, the question is not where they will come. The question is when this will happen and under what conditions. The Chinese economy can collapse only in one case if it is in the world, there is no direct real world, huge will be introduced for Chinese goods. China will survive the rest. And friendship with China is unpromising for the Russian Federation. In the near future, everything seems to be fine, but a little further and China will master the production of cheap icebreakers and why will it need the Russian Federation? China plans to take resources in Africa. In essence, Russia will supply energy carriers through the power of Siberia and subsequently through tankers to China, by the way, apparently at a not very competitive price, since Chinese capital will be used to create a logistics system for supplying energy carriers to China.
    1. demo
      demo 30 January 2018 18: 15
      The Chinese economy can collapse only in one case if it is in the world, there is no direct real world, huge will be introduced for Chinese goods. China will survive the rest.

      Before making peremptory statements, you need to think a little.
      And if, suppose, the purchasing power of the main markets for the sale of goods falls.
      Or generally freezes at the point "0", then how?
      China, five years ago, headed for the creation of domestic consumption, due to the growth of the welfare of its population.
      The distortion in trade, relying on sales abroad - is a dangerous phenomenon.
      But judging by the figures given, the PRC decided to squeeze a little more income.
      So the financial "genius" and party Wishlist were not working.
  7. Nemesis
    Nemesis 30 January 2018 12: 37
    Yes, for God's sake, but the Northern Sea Route is open to the Russians and should belong entirely to Russia! They want to use it, let them use it, but let them pay Russia money for its use as transit fees! In addition, Russia has strategic military bases in the North and it’s not worth letting foreign ships into them, albeit a friendly state, today ...
  8. Essex62
    Essex62 30 January 2018 15: 17
    Quote: A resident of the Urals
    China as in intelligence - builds a web all over the world. Now its rapid growth is beneficial for us to confront NATO, but no matter how it happens in the future that the States will have to support so that they weaken China. For if the latter receives world domination, it will be worse than the Anglo-Saxons.

    As long as there is a huge, great and not victorious Russia of world domination not to see anyone. And there are no nations more terrible and uglier than Saki non-humans on the planet.
  9. NF68
    NF68 30 January 2018 16: 22
    Rather, China became interested in the oil and gas that Russia will produce in the north than the Northern Sea Route to deliver goods to Europe or to the western part of Russia.