In Leiv Lunde, Yang Jian and Iselin Stensdal (eds), Asian Countries and the Arctic Future. Singapore, World Scientific Publishing, 2016, pp. 265-280.
The Arctic is changing. A region which for decades was seen as a frozen, inert area of little interest to the outside world, is in reality a dynamic region, where Arctic governments seek to adapt to a larger geopolitical world map. The Arctic is where the great powers Russia and the United States come closest geographically. As Oran Yong mentions in his chapter, after the Cold War and final collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Arctic became geopolitically peripheral. Nevertheless, the 1990s saw the start of several cooperative initiatives, from the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) in 1990 to the Arctic Council in 1996. In more recent years, the Asian countries' governments and other Asian actors have grown increasingly interested in the Arctic region and its potential. It is endowed with many important natural resources which can be developed and acts a barometer of climatic change elsewhere: no wonder the region is an ever more frequent item on the international agenda.