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China's Opportunity to Break Into Arctic Governance

MIN READMay 13, 2022 | 20:15 GMT

Polar bears in Essen Bay off the coast of Zemlya Georga -- an island in the Franz Josef Land archipelago -- on August 22, 2021.

Polar bears in Essen Bay off the coast of Zemlya Georga -- an island in the Franz Josef Land archipelago -- on August 22, 2021.

(Photo by Ekaterina Anisimova/AFP via Getty Images)

Following the Russian re-invasion of Ukraine, seven of the eight Arctic Council members (all aside from Russia) suspended participation in council activities, as Russia is currently the Arctic Council chair. Representatives of these nations will meet soon to discuss how to maintain collaborative Arctic governance and determine what level of cooperation with Russia will be necessary, particularly in areas of scientific research and fishery management. But the pause, which is unlikely to be lifted anytime soon, provides an opportunity for China to call for a new Arctic governance structure. Beijing sees this as the moment to further internationalize Arctic governance, giving China a greater say and softening the grip of the eight geographically Arctic nations....

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