Dr A. Adityanjee is President, The Council for Strategic Affairs.
The Arctic region is home to almost four million inhabitants, of which approximately one-tenth are indigenous people. The United States Geological Survey estimates that up to 25-30% of the world’s remaining oil and natural gas resources might be held within the Arctic Region.
The five littoral states, Canada, Russia, USA (Alaska), Denmark (Greenland) and Norway, have competing claims over the Arctic. Together with the five Arctic littoral states, three regional states, Finland, Iceland and Sweden, constitute the eight-member Arctic Council.
The Arctic is considered the final frontier for the human to conquer. Resource competition and human migration will become facts of life in the Arctic region as the snow melts.
Economic and mercantile competition among nation states for natural resources is bound to result in strife and conflict at some point in time. Every nation must secure its strategic interests.
China has steadily increased its footprint in the Arctic for the last decade. China’s lust for the Arctic mineral and live-stock resources has been universally noted. China was approaching the Arctic region surreptitiously in a deceitful manner while trying to obtain a physical toehold.
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