US Countering China and Russian Federation in Arctic

US Countering China and Russian Federation in Arctic

Pompeo's branding of a longtime disagreement on Arctic policy between the Canada and the U.S.is a "stunning rebuke" of the 1988 Arctic Co-operation agreement between the two countries, said Fen Hampson, the head of the international-security program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, steps off a plane upon arrival in Rovaniemi, Finland, Monday, May 6, 2019.

In his speech, Pompeo said Russian Federation was "already leaving snow prints in the form of army boots" in the Arctic, and accused the country of wanting to remilitarize its northern territory. He's warning China and Russian Federation that the USA won't stand for aggressive moves into the region that's rapidly opening up to development and commerce as temperatures warm and sea ice melts. However, the U.S. State Department announced the meeting had been canceled due to "pressing issues". He says rule of law must prevail for the Arctic to remain peaceful. Instead, he said there would be statements from ministers and Finland which now holds the chair of the Arctic Council. The secretary of state also suggested that Moscow's aggressive territorial claims elsewhere suggest it may do the same in the Arctic.

China's first-ever white paper on Arctic policy was released on January 26, 2018.

Beijing was granted observer status in the Arctic Council in 2013, which enabled it to attend council meetings.

Pompeo rejected China's assertion that it is a "near-Arctic nation", saying, "There are only Arctic states and non-Arctic states".

"The majority of work in the Arctic Council stems either directly or indirectly from climate change, and if the USA doesn't even want to have references to climate change in the declaration, that's going to mean very hard years ahead".

Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the USA - members of the Arctic Council - were supposed to work on a two-year agenda on the difficulties faced in the Arctic, which include global warming and the sustainable development of natural resources.

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The secretary of state raised global eyebrows when instead of lamenting the troubling trend of shrinking sea ice (and rising sea levels which threaten coastal regions with flooding around the world) he touted new commercial opportunities. "OK, competition. Let's see who can get more friends", Gao told reporters after Pompeo's speech.

"I actually celebrate the fact that the seven other countries stood up to the Trump administration" said Byers. Although the passage remains ice-bound for much of the year, it has become increasingly usable because of global warming and the retreat of Arctic sea ice.

China is planning to build infrastructure across the region and developing shipping lanes in the Arctic Ocean.

The Arctic will also increasingly become the battleground between the US and China, as both superpowers vie for global trade dominance.

Pompeo accused Russia of breaking maritime laws by requiring foreign ships traveling through global waters in the Arctic to ask for permission before proceeding and demands that Russian maritime pilots be present aboard transiting vessels.

"We have no geopolitical calculations, and seek no exclusionary blocs", he said.

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