While interminable crises in the Middle East, Ukraine and the tensions along China’s maritime frontier demand most attention today, another region is emerging as a potential theatre for disputed claims among great powers: the Arctic. With the thawing of Arctic polar ice cap comes the potential of permanent new routes for international trade and shipping. The Arctic region is also expected to contain untapped mineral resources and competing legal claims over the Arctic contain the potential for instability and competition.

Ever since China joined the Arctic Council as a permanent observer in May 2013, there has been speculation about what consequences Chinese interest may bear for the region. And China is far from the only non-Arctic country interested in the region, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and India are other major Asian economies that obtained observer status on the Council.

This week, the China Policy Institute has invited contributions reflecting on various issues related to the significance of the Arctic region. The contributors will address issues pertaining to China’s Arctic policy, implications of potential permanent opening of Arctic sea routes for China, Beijing’s stake in the Arctic, implications for regional security, etc. The contributors include:

Frédéric Lasserre, Laval University, China’s Interest in Arctic Shipping.

Jingchao Peng, independent researcher, The inevitable dilemma of China’s Arctic adventure.

Stephen Blank, American Foreign Policy Council, The Arctic: China’s Third Silk Road.

Alex Calvo, Guest Professor, Nagoya University, Russian perceptions of China in the Arctic.

Svetlana Krivokhizh, St. Petersburg State University & Nadezhda Filimonova, Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Sino-Russian collaboration on the Northern Sea Route development.

Iselin Stensdal, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, China and the Arctic: Where’s the Great Power Competition?

Nong Hong, National Institute for South China Sea Studies, China’s Emerging Interests in the Arctic.

Mia M. Bennett, UCLA, China rediscovers its northern roots.

Kai Sun, Ocean University of China, How China’s interests fit with the Arctic States’.

Lawson Brigham, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Image Credit: CC by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr.