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How Greenland could become China's Arctic base

JacksinPA

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46386867

There is no subforum covering Greenland so I'm posting this article here rather than in Far East. This has far more to do with the Arctic than with China.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46386867

China is flexing its muscles. As the second richest economy in the world, its businessmen and politicians are involved just about everywhere in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Now, though, China is taking a big interest in a very different part of the world: the Arctic.
===========================================
Though China is 1,800 miles from the Arctic Circle, it (along with Russia, the U.S. & Canada) is viewing the Arctic as a necessary strategic asset. 'It has bought or commissioned several ice-breakers - including nuclear-powered ones - to carve out new routes for its goods through the Arctic ice.' The lure of the soon-to-be-ice-free Northwest Passage in the Arctic has enormous potential & China is eyeing Greenland as a future major base for its activities. As a note, the U.S. has a major air base at Thule.

Because of its increasing importance in world affairs, I suggest adding an Arctic subforum to International Politics.
 
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Carjosse

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Denmark should put a stop that, I doubt it would like China infringing on its sovereignty and NATO.
 

humbolt

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If the Arctic is "soon to be ice free ", what use are ice breakers?
 

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46386867

There is no subforum covering Greenland so I'm posting this article here rather than in Far East. This has far more to do with the Arctic than with China.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46386867

China is flexing its muscles. As the second richest economy in the world, its businessmen and politicians are involved just about everywhere in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Now, though, China is taking a big interest in a very different part of the world: the Arctic.
===========================================
Though China is 1,800 miles from the Arctic Circle, it (along with Russia, the U.S. & Canada) is viewing the Arctic as a necessary strategic asset. 'It has bought or commissioned several ice-breakers - including nuclear-powered ones - to carve out new routes for its goods through the Arctic ice.' The lure of the soon-to-be-ice-free Northwest Passage in the Arctic has enormous potential & China is eyeing Greenland as a future major base for its activities. As a note, the U.S. has a major air base at Thule.

Because of its increasing importance in world affairs, I suggest adding an Arctic subforum to International Politics.

Makes sense. China likes to conquer with Trade, not military. They're successful because they develop mutually beneficial projects. Just one more link in their Silk Roads philosophy and plans.
/
 

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Lord Tammerlain

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Denmark should put a stop that, I doubt it would like China infringing on its sovereignty and NATO.

Greenland is fairly autonomous from Denmark

In 1979, Denmark granted home rule to Greenland, and in 2008, Greenlanders voted in favor of the Self-Government Act, which transferred more power from the Danish government to the local Greenlandic government. Under the new structure, in effect since 21 June 2009,[17] Greenland can gradually assume responsibility for policing, judicial system, company law, accounting, and auditing; mineral resource activities; aviation; law of legal capacity, family law and succession law; aliens and border controls; the working environment; and financial regulation and supervision, while the Danish government retains control of foreign affairs and defence. It also retains control of monetary policy, providing an initial annual subsidy of DKK 3.4 billion, which is planned to diminish gradually over time. Greenland expects to grow its economy based on increased income from the extraction of natural resources. The capital, Nuuk, held the 2016 Arctic Winter Games. At 70%, Greenland has one of the highest shares of renewable energy in the world, mostly coming from hydropower.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland

So providing no military base, Denmark is limited in restricting Greenland accepting Chinese contracts to build airports, ports etc
 

Carjosse

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Lord Tammerlain

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So the Chinese aren't counting on the Arctic being ice free relatively soon, then.

You know that Canada operates icebreakers in the Great Lakes during the winter. Greenland could in the summer become quite ice free, but the winter icing up could trap cargo vessels or sink them
 

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You know that Canada operates icebreakers in the Great Lakes during the winter. Greenland could in the summer become quite ice free, but the winter icing up could trap cargo vessels or sink them

Right. Those areas aren't ice free, and they aren't likely to be any time soon. It's why China is buying ice breakers.
 

lwf

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So the Chinese aren't counting on the Arctic being ice free relatively soon, then.

Establishing a presence using ice breakers before other countries have a chance to would lend legitimacy to their operations there. Waiting until the arctic is already ice free would give other countries the chance to get there first with their own ice breakers.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Denmark still controls international affairs and defense, which I believe this would very easily fall under.


Defense, only if it was a military base.

International affairs, typically do not involve investments inside the country, but diplomatic activities, treaties etc. China investing in mining and other resource activities would not generally fall under that. But a FTA with China would
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Right. Those areas aren't ice free, and they aren't likely to be any time soon. It's why China is buying ice breakers.

During the summer the great lakes are. I doubt anyone is expecting the far north to be ice free all year long
 

Carjosse

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Defense, only if it was a military base.

International affairs, typically do not involve investments inside the country, but diplomatic activities, treaties etc. China investing in mining and other resource activities would not generally fall under that. But a FTA with China would

Defense can cover other aspects as well, if Chinese ships are entering their waters or building infrastructure it very well falls under defense. You can't trust the Chinese.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Defense can cover other aspects as well, if Chinese ships are entering their waters or building infrastructure it very well falls under defense. You can't trust the Chinese.

Chinese naval ships, not cargo or oil rigs
 

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Establishing a presence using ice breakers before other countries have a chance to would lend legitimacy to their operations there. Waiting until the arctic is already ice free would give other countries the chance to get there first with their own ice breakers.

A reasonable proposition, but the notion that the Arctic will become ice free at some point soon is not established. It is conjecture.
 

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Not necessarily, they could very easily constitute a national security issue.

Not from a legal definition. Greenland has the rights regarding "or policing, judicial system, company law, accounting, and auditing; mineral resource activities; aviation; law of legal capacity, family law and succession law; aliens and border controls; the working environment; and financial regulation and supervision

So it would have the ability to trade with China, Canada, the US etc, accept air traffic, naval traffic without interference from Denmark. Only in the case of actual military activities and potential dual use activities would Denmark get authority. So China could build but not operate Air traffic radar systems in Greenland. It could build and operate a port, but no Chinese naval vessels could use it without Denmark's approval. China could build and operate an airport, but no Chinese military aircraft could use it, without approval from Denmark
 

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Yes, it generally gets warmer during the summer months, and colder in the winter months. Such things as an ice free late summer in some portions of the Arctic are not unprecedented. Arctic ice remains surrounding the northern portion of Greenland all year long. It's not ice free, nor is it likely to be so "soon".

"Soon" is relative. When we're talking about an entire country getting the jump on claiming territory for future trade routes, 30 to 50 years in the future is pretty soon, especially when compared to the rate of ice recession during warm periods in the geological past.
 

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"Soon" is relative. When we're talking about an entire country getting the jump on claiming territory for future trade routes, 30 to 50 years in the future is pretty soon, especially when compared to the rate of ice recession during warm periods in the geological past.

I agree that China is intent on extending their influence where ever the opportunity exists. Sooner or later the Arctic will be ice free, perhaps. Perhaps, not. In 30 to 50 years it could be colder than it is up there now. Denmark already owns Greenland, and while sovereignty doesn't seem to matter to China, there isn't land there for China to claim.
 

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I agree that China is intent on extending their influence where ever the opportunity exists. Sooner or later the Arctic will be ice free, perhaps. Perhaps, not. In 30 to 50 years it could be colder than it is up there now. Denmark already owns Greenland, and while sovereignty doesn't seem to matter to China, there isn't land there for China to claim.

The scientific consensus across the entire globe is that the Arctic WILL be considerably warmer. China (and Russia) wouldn't be investing in it if this was an open question. The chances of the arctic getting colder in the next few hundred years are so low as to be statistically insignificant. The world will be a warmer place in the future. Any country that doesn't plan for this ahead of time is going to be behind the curve.
 

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The scientific consensus across the entire globe is that the Arctic WILL be considerably warmer. China (and Russia) wouldn't be investing in it if this was an open question. The chances of the arctic getting colder in the next few hundred years are so low as to be statistically insignificant. The world will be a warmer place in the future. Any country that doesn't plan for this ahead of time is going to be behind the curve.

Yeah, and the scientific consensus at one time was that the earth was the center of the solar system. If the models used to predict such things were accurate, we should've all cooked by now. In reality, an infinite number of events could occur, including a shift in the magnetic poles or whatever. Our ability to predict such things as climate or any of the other, related possibilities isn't very good at all. If that ability was fine tuned toward something accurate, vague words like "soon", etc. would not be employed. Of course it'll be warmer in the Arctic at some point in the future - or perhaps it'll be colder. One outcome is as likely as the other.
 

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46386867

There is no subforum covering Greenland so I'm posting this article here rather than in Far East. This has far more to do with the Arctic than with China.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46386867

China is flexing its muscles. As the second richest economy in the world, its businessmen and politicians are involved just about everywhere in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Now, though, China is taking a big interest in a very different part of the world: the Arctic.
===========================================
Though China is 1,800 miles from the Arctic Circle, it (along with Russia, the U.S. & Canada) is viewing the Arctic as a necessary strategic asset. 'It has bought or commissioned several ice-breakers - including nuclear-powered ones - to carve out new routes for its goods through the Arctic ice.' The lure of the soon-to-be-ice-free Northwest Passage in the Arctic has enormous potential & China is eyeing Greenland as a future major base for its activities. As a note, the U.S. has a major air base at Thule.

Because of its increasing importance in world affairs, I suggest adding an Arctic subforum to International Politics.

Both the Arctic region AND Antarctica will figure prominently in world news soon. I doubt that the agreements on Antarctica or Greenland will be honored if major hostilities break out. Any of several nations may very well decide to informally or "unofficially" use one or both regions strategically and deal with the consequences later.

Yes, I realize that Greenland is administered by Denmark.
 
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