Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dragon's Den ? ? ? ?

Michael Byers has an excellent analysis on China, the Arctic, oil and international relations in today's Al Jazeera:

The dragon looks north
China grows hungry for Arctic resources and shipping routes as northern ice melts.

Snubbed by Arctic countries

China's laissez-faire approach to Arctic legal disputes has, however, been shaken by the recent actions of Arctic countries.

In 2009, China applied for permanent observer status at the Arctic Council, a regional organisation composed of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US. It was a reasonable request, since countries as distant as Poland and Spain had already been accorded that status.

However, the Chinese request came at the same time as one from the European Union, which was caught up in a dispute with Canada over restrictions on the trade of seal products. When Canada retaliated by blocking the EU's request for permanent observer status at the Arctic Council, China's application was collaterally suspended - and has remained so ever since.

China is respecting international law and has legitimate interests in the Arctic. Its request for permanent observer status should be granted forthwith.

Dragons, even well behaved ones, do not appreciate being snubbed.

Indeed . . . .

1 comment:

Mark, Ottawa said...

More from the busy Prof. Byers (who is actually quite good on things Northern--unlike his other stuff), covering the Bear too:

"Russia pulling ahead in the Arctic"

However it is untrue to say that the US is the only country that opposes Canada's claim that the NW Passage is "internal waters". The EU, Japan and quite a few other countries do too.

Then there's this piece of silliness from the States:

"Russian troops above America’s border: Canada’s ‘Red Dawn’ moment?"