China has sent high-level figures to the region 33 times in the past two decades, engaged or joined most major Arctic institutions, sought a half dozen scientific facilities in Arctic states, pursued a range of plausibly dual-use economic projects, expanded its icebreaker fleet, and even sent its naval vessels into the region.
China seeks to become a “polar great power” but downplays this goal publicly.
China describes the Arctic as one of the world’s “new strategic frontiers,” ripe for rivalry and extraction
Chinese military texts treat the Arctic as a zone of future military competition
Chinese texts make clear that its investments in Arctic science are intended to buttress its Arctic influence and strategic position.