The Arctic

Test field for a new, global and geopolitical architecture in special consideration of China (part 2)

Jörg-Dietrich Nackmayr


China‘s increased commitment in the Arctic region will terminate the sole responsibility of the neighbouring states in the far north. By means of strategic investments in the exploitation of resources, in maritime and touristic infrastructure in Iceland and Greenland in the form of harbours for the transportation of gas and minerals as well as for the clearing of passenger ships, China succeeds in establishing a network of infrastructures. China’s attempts at denoting influence zones in the Arctic lead to a joint attitude of resistance of all Arctic neighbours as a countermove. Here, Russia and the USA have taken the lead. Whereas the geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West in other parts of the world intensify every so often, China’s appearance on the North Pole has led to increasing cooperation. Controversial border issues, especially those related to possession claims on the continental shelf, are solved trilaterally. From the 2030ies onwards, maritime traffic in the summer months will presumably go directly across the geographic North Pole. This maritime region is concertedly monitored by the adjacent states. In future, investments by non-neighbouring nations will be subject to special national permit. By now, Denmark, together with investors from the European Union, Canada and the USA, mines the raw materials of Greenland by means of an escrow agreement. Thanks to increased prices of raw materials, after a long phase of low prices in the first and second decade of the 21st century, infrastructure and social contributions in Greenland will be financed from these profits. Due to the climatic change the area in Greenland which can be agriculturally harnessed will become larger. Whereas in 2015the available grassland was larger than the area of Norway already, in the middle of the 21st century it will be larger than all Scandinavian countries together. Greenland is experiencing economic upswing also because of the immigration of Europeans to Kalaallit Nunaat. In the first half of the 21st century already Greenland will gain its national independence, although it will remain a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and it will establish a special commonwealth with the former colonial power. The existing security architecture, however, will not be changed. The scripture was completed in the middle of July 2015. This essay was designed as a politics analysis in order to inspire discourse and to point out to possible challenges for the security situation in the far north. The author’s concern was to examine the appearance of a foreign power in the Arctic and its consequences for the transatlantic security architecture – a topic which has been hardly dealt with in literature.