China now has more warships than the United States. Several experts believe we must prepare to see Chinese warships in Arctic waters as well.
While the United States has 287 warships, China now has over 300 frigates, corvettes and other military vessels. Chinese President Xi Jinping has previously stated that he wants to make the country a “polar superpower”.
“ I have no doubt that China has a strategic goal of sending the Navy to the Arctic. They want to protect the commercial vessels that will carry goods along new trade routes, and in time they will also deploy nuclear submarines in the northern areas,” says former Marine Captain Jim Fanell to Aftenposten.
Fanell says that if no one challenges them, they will be able to dominate the world seas by 2049.
Stein Tønnesson, former director of the Norwegian Peace Research Institute PRIO, believes China is violating international law in the South China Sea by claiming almost the entire area. How they act when it comes to fishing, oil and military exploitation can also create challenges for Norway, including outside Svalbard, he believes.
Norwegian authorities believe that this is part of the Norwegian continental shelf, but it is not clear that this will have an international impact. Here it is conceivable that China will challenge Norway’s requirements, for example, to begin with oil drilling.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today