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2022 | Book

Arctic Opportunities and Challenges

China, Russia and the US Cooperation and Competition

Author: Edmund Li Sheng

Publisher: Springer Singapore

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About this book

This book focuses on the participation and interaction of the three great powers—i.e., China, Russia, and the United States—in Arctic affairs from an international relations perspective. Global climate change has become a shared problem for all mankind. One of its key elements is the warming of the Arctic, which is affecting every dimension of nature and humanity globally. Climate change in the Arctic will directly affect natural ecosystems, coastal areas, forests, water resources, agricultural production, animal husbandry, tourism, and other economic activities in various countries around the globe. For the Northeast Asian region, however, the opening of the Arctic Passage by melting sea ice presents an opportunity. The current international legal regime for governance in the Arctic is insufficient to cope with the challenges of global warming. This book will be of interest to scholars following the future development of the Arctic and the role of China as a newcomer to Arctic affairs.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. Introduction: The Game in the Arctic—A Historical Review
Abstract
This work mainly reviews, discusses, and looks toward the competition and cooperation between the three global powers, China, the United States and Russia, in the Arctic region, from the perspective of triangle relations theory in international politics.
Edmund Li Sheng
Chapter 2. A Panorama of the Arctic: Geopolitics and International Law
Abstract
As the Arctic has exhibited the effects of rapid climate change over the past few decades, it has become a new focus of competition between states. This increased competition has unfolded as various countries have sought to maximize their own economic and political benefits in the region. This chapter provides a panorama of the rapidly changing Arctic by illustrating its geographic significance and legal status and outlining the disputes over the region.
Edmund Li Sheng
Chapter 3. The New Strategic Triangle in the Arctic: China, Russia, and the United States
Abstract
The Arctic is becoming an important arena of contestation between the great powers in the context of global warming. As China has an increasingly strong presence in the region, the bipolar competition in the Arctic between Russia and the United States is shifting into a triangular game. This chapter elaborates on the formation of a new strategic triangle between China, Russia, and the United States and the gradual change in the balance of power in the Arctic as it becomes a hotspot for interactions between the three powers.
Edmund Li Sheng
Chapter 4. Sino–Russian Cooperation on the Polar Silk Road: Vision, Divergence, and Challenges
Abstract
This chapter introduces the nature and history of the Polar Silk Road proposal and explores the vision and challenges of Sino-Russian cooperation on the initiative. Driven by similar pressure from the United States and its allies, China and Russia are strengthening their ties and establishing a series of cooperation projects in the Arctic region. The continuous deepening of Sino-Russian cooperation in the region will provide China with favorable opportunities to become more deeply involved in Arctic affairs.
Edmund Li Sheng
Chapter 5. Participation in and Strategic Arrangements for Arctic Affairs by the United States: Seeking Collective Security in a New Era
Abstract
As the key player in the game surrounding the North Pole, the United States has made a series of adjustments to its Arctic policy from the Second World War and through the Cold War to the present. The strategic significance of the Arctic to the United States is currently increasing amidst simultaneous tensions with China and Russia. The three countries, which form a New Arctic Strategic Triangle and are now experiencing the coldest period of their relations since the end of the Cold War, will continue to play a fierce game in the freezing Arctic Ocean.
Edmund Li Sheng
Chapter 6. Who Will Win in the Climate Crisis? A Reinterpretation of the Interaction Between Climate Change and Security Issues in the Arctic
Abstract
This chapter analyzes how the major Arctic powers are responding to the conventional and unconventional challenges posed by climate change in the Arctic. Climate change in the Arctic is a double-edged sword for Russia, which faces the challenges of permafrost degradation and reduced food production but also opportunities from the opening of the Arctic shipping route. Meanwhile, growing Sino–Russian cooperation in the Arctic has given Russia an additional bargaining chip in the Arctic game with the United States.
Edmund Li Sheng
Chapter 7. Extra-Regional Players in the Arctic: EU, China, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea
Abstract
The melting of Arctic ice caps in recent decades has added to the complexity of competition in the region, as it opens the door for the involvement of extra-regional players, such as China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and the European Union. China is strengthening its influence in the Arctic by enhancing its bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the region. The participation of China and other new players in discussions on Arctic affairs is changing the balance of power in the region.
Edmund Li Sheng
Chapter 8. The Polar Silk Road and the Belt and Road Initiative: Integration and Optimization
Abstract
The Belt and Road Initiative presents a realistic demand for expansion and connectivity to the entire Arctic region. As a significant component of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s proposed Polar Ice Silk Road sets out a vision for China’s future maritime cooperation and geopolitical strategy in the Arctic. This chapter addresses concerns about China’s Polar Silk Road and Belt and Road Initiative and their practical effects on the Arctic region.
Edmund Li Sheng
Chapter 9. Conclusion
Abstract
The main aim of this book is to elaborate on the participation and interaction of the three great powers—i.e., China, Russia, and the United States—in Arctic affairs from an international relations perspective. The rapid warming of the Arctic has ushered in a new era of development in the region. Although there are still some divergences, China and Russia are expanding and deepening their cooperation in the Arctic region. There are broad prospects for further Arctic cooperation as it undergoes a dynamic adjustment.
Edmund Li Sheng
Backmatter
Metadata
Title
Arctic Opportunities and Challenges
Author
Edmund Li Sheng
Copyright Year
2022
Publisher
Springer Singapore
Electronic ISBN
978-981-19-1246-7
Print ISBN
978-981-19-1245-0
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-1246-7

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