The melting Arctic ice cap is opening up a new passage into the Atlantic for the expanding Chinese Navy in a potential new challenge to the UK and the west, the chief of the Royal Navy has warned.
Russia is also likely to assert itself even more in that part of the Atlantic, a strategic area for Europe and the US, said Tony Radakin, the First Sea Lord.
Radakin continued: “As the ‘High North’ becomes more open and accessible it’s going to be more contested and competitive as well. We are already doing much more in the High North, we’ve been operating with our Norwegian friends, with our American friends and in the Barents Sea.
A US Department of Defence report to Congress earlier this year claimed “China could use its civilian research presence in the Arctic to strengthen its military presence, including by deploying submarines to the region”.