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Arctic region becomes new focus for global strategy

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

08-19-2015 15:44 BJT

By Han Xudong, professor, National Defense University, People’s Liberation Army       

The Ukraine crisis has exploded the military rivalry between Russia and the United States, where both countries hold spheres of influence that extend from the Black Sea to the Arctic region.

Actually, it is rare to see military exercise conducted in the Arctic, but that is no longer the case. It stands as a signal that the Arctic would become a new focus for global strategy.

The Arctic refers to the region situated at about 66.34 degrees of northern latitude within the Arctic Circle, which includes the Arctic Ocean, border land of coastal zone and islands, Arctic tundra and the Taiga zone.

The Arctic Ocean is a vast icebound sea surrounded by islands. Since natural conditions in the region are so harsh, why do Russia and the US pay so much attention to it?

Well, it serves as an important battleground After the Cold War ended; the US took control of areas in the Middle East and Central Asia while provoking military conflicts and Color Revolutions to spark regime change on a global scale.

Meanwhile, the US is looking to control most of Eastern Europe through NATO expansion. Only the Arctic region appears to be the "dead zone" beyond American military pressure.

The Arctic is a strong disposition area for strategic nuclear forces, since much of the region  is covered by snow and ice. With the development of new military technology, you can camouflage strategic targets with the continental and air-based nuclear power underneath the Arctic Ocean.

Once the Arctic Ocean is controlled, the viability of submarine-based strategic nuclear forces will be enhanced as a deterrent force for a country.

The region also offers a strategic international route. With global warming, the traffic capacity of the Arctic Ocean will be increased, making shipping between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans more convenient. As the Suez Canal and Malacca Strait play key roles for global shipping, the value of the Arctic Ocean will become more prominent.

Such hegemony has led to fighting for the Arctic region to become more intense. The Antarctic Treaty ensures that countries can peacefully utilize the region, but there is no treaty for the Arctic region. Some countries are trying to adopt traditional hegemony to gain the upper hand.  

The fighting will never stop until a treaty on the utilization of the Arctic region can be agreed upon by all nations. 


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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