World

China bombshell: US warns of China's 'exploiting' the Arctic with ‘bogus’ claims

Speaking in an Online seminar on Thursday, Admiral James Foggo revealed China was “increasingly seeking to exploit the arctic”.

Mr Foggo also feared that China would pose security concerns for the US and other members of the transatlantic security alliance.

Mr Foggo said: “China has even labelled itself as a ‘near Arctic country’.

He added: “They’re eyeing investment opportunities that range from natural resource exploration to the future commercial maritime traffic potential of the ‘Polar Silk Road’.”

Beijing has suggested their interests in their arctic center around commerce and environmental protection.

However, Foggo believes the arctic could be used to create ‘bogus claims’.

“With China having its own precedent for making bogus claims over international waterways in the South China Sea, it’s possible that China will also seek to bend the rules in their favour in the Arctic, Mr Foggo revealed.”

He added: “Nato no longer ignores China’s activities in Europe.”

This comes after China announced the start of a trillion-US dollar infrastructure drive with the idea to connect economies into a China-centred trading network.

More than 125 countries are involved in the initiative.

READ MORE China punished by India in major new row over trade over border clash

He also believes that Chinese leaders were “restricting information about the coronavirus and donating equipment and personnel, even in Europe as a way to show that it is a world leader”.

Mr Foggo’s comments follow increasing tensions in the South China Sea.

China and the US have bolstered forces in disputed waters.

For the first time since 2017, three 100,000 tonne US Navy aircraft carriers protected their territory.

Mr Foggo suggested that the talks could still help matters.

He said: ““I think there is always room for dialogue.”

Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military commentator suggested that Foggo’s comments could be a ploy from the American to support Nato in a battle against China.

Song said: “The US is seeking to expand Nato’s capabilities to the western Pacific and the Arctic, and pushed by the US, Nato has started to pay attention to China.

“But as a Europe-based military alliance, Nato would instead see Russia as a major opponent.

“Under international law, China is only an observer state to the Arctic, which means it can only cooperate with one of the eight Arctic nations, for example, Russia, in developing trade routes or energy.”



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