NEWSWATCH: “Putin and Xi Are Dreaming of a Polar Silk Road; The Northern Sea Route might not be the next Suez Canal, but it’s at the heart of Moscow and Beijing’s play for the high north.” – Foreign Policy Magazine/Keith Johnson, Reid Standish

Arctic Map

“The unprecedented melt of Arctic sea ice is … rejuvenating hopes of a shipping shortcut …. It shouldn’t be. China is dreamy-eyed about the prospects of shipping goods from Asia to Europe across the top of Russia … dominating its brand-new Arctic strategy. … Russia is convinced that the melting Arctic will open up a new economic frontier rich in oil, natural gas, and lucrative transport routes …. Putin[‘s] government plans to invest tens of billions of dollars by 2030 to develop ships, shipbuilders, navigational aids, and ports …. * * * [But e]ven though the route is shorter, ships have to go slower through the still-icy waters, and most vessels need to be ice-classed to operate there at all, both of which add costs. More important … for just-in-time cargo shipping, transit times are still unpredictable, and the shallow waters along Russia’s coast rule out the big container ships that dominate cross-ocean traffic. … despite all the hype, shipping companies are hesitant to dip a toe in the chilly waters.”

Click here for: “Putin and Xi Are Dreaming of a Polar Silk Road; The Northern Sea Route might not be the next Suez Canal, but it’s at the heart of Moscow and Beijing’s play for the high north.” – Foreign Policy Magazine/Keith Johnson, Reid Standish