Arctic Ambitions: China, India, and the Arctic Council

Issue & Policy Briefs May 14, 2013, No. 123

May 14-15, 2013, the Arctic Council will decide on whether to admit India and China as observers to the organization.India and China consider the Arctic as a region of increasing global importance, and both are seeking to establish a strong presence there through substantial investments in research, resources, and infrastructure. Admitting India and China provides a valuable opportunity to acknowledge their presence and engage with their interests. Keeping the door closed will push India and China to turn to other forums such as the International Maritime Organization and the UN, shifting the center of Arctic governance away from the Arctic Council and its members. If the Arctic Council wants to consolidate itself as the central institution for Arctic governance, it will have to give China and India a seat at the table.

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