Can Asian Involvement Strengthen Arctic Governance?

In Leiv Lunde, Yang Jian and Iselin Stensdal (eds), Asian Countries and the Arctic Future. Singapore, World Scientific Publishing, 2016, pp. 51-60.

What stakes do Asian states have in the Arctic and how will their rising involvement affect Arctic governance? In late 2012, the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker to sail through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) reached its destination in Japan, carrying gas from a Norwegian offshore field. That same year, a Korean-owned naval architecture and engineering company had won the contract for designing the long-awaited new icebreaker for Canada's coast guard, and China had completed its fifth Arctic marine survey from its own ice-capable research vessel. China, India, Japan, and South Korea have all established research stations in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. The process that led up to these states also achieving permanent observer status on the Arctic Council in 2013 exposed worries among some regional actors over sovereignty issues, the visibility of indigenous concerns, and Arctic environmental protection.



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