FAST FIVE: China's New Icebreaker Ship Ready For 'Polar Silk Road'
China's 1st domestically-built polar research vessel and icebreaker “Xuelong 2” has started its 12-day trial voyage pic.twitter.com/tuF6OcwjqA – China Xinhua News (@XHNews) June 1, 2019 Qin Weijia, director in charge of polar research with China's State Oceanic Administration, told journalist during a press conference that the new icebreaker will be Station on the 36th Chinese scientific expedition to Antarctica, where it would carry out “scientific research.” Snow Dragon II is China's second icebreaker and the first to be domestically built.
China's increasing presence in the Arctic, especially its partnership with Russia, recently triggered US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“Though it [China] sits more than 900 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the country has long been interested in the region's resources,” he said.
Foggo said it's essential for the US Navy to continue modernization efforts and ramp up patrols in the Arctic as the region becomes “more accessible, to protect the American people, our sovereign territory and rights, and the natural resources and interests” of the US and its allies.
China's long game is setting up the 'Polar Silk Road' by using icebreakers to clear shipping channels in the Arctic would allow for quicker shipping between China and Europe.