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International relations

China's Arctic plan spreads a chill

'Polar Silk Road' challenges existing northern power balance

| China

With a lot of fanfare, China has expanded its flagship Belt and Road Initiative to a vast swath of new territory far removed from the Middle Kingdom -- the Arctic.

A detailed white paper last month outlined plans for a "Polar Silk Road" that would link Asia to Europe across the frozen far north. As has been widely noted by governments and commercial companies alike, climate change has led to melting ice caps that will open shipping routes and make the extraction of natural resources easier.

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