There are concerns about China’s Arctic strategy internationally, and it is often perceived alongside Russian militarization of the Arctic as a dual threat to the established international order. In a recent report, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) names China as a threat to American interests in the Arctic, labeling it—together with Russia— a challenge “to the rules-based international order around the globe [causing] concern of similar infringement to the continued peaceful stability of the Arctic region”, drawing parallels to Chinese conduct in the South China Sea (SCS) and East China Sea (ECS).

China will soon start building a 30,000-tonne nuclear-powered ship described in the tender documents as an “experimental platform”. This follows the approach that the former Soviet Union took in its development of nuclear aircraft carriers. The Soviets had built five nuclear icebreakers before cutting steel in 1988 for their first nuclear carrier Ulyanovsk, which was never completed.

The Increasing Security Focus in China’s Arctic Policy

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