The Globe and Mail: China Used Research Mission to Test Trade Route Through Canada’s Northwest Passage

China used a research icebreaker, the Snow Dragon, to check if Chinese cargo ships could rely on Canada’s Northwest Passage rather than the Panama Canal, reducing delivery time by 20 percent. The report came from Xinhau News Agency, which “also reported that China sent six merchant ships through Russia's Northeast Passage this summer as the world's second-largest economy hopes to take advantage of melting Arctic sea ice to speed the delivery of goods to North America and European markets.” Suggestions that China may try to use the Northwest Passage for trade could be exaggerated, note some sources, and analysts were surprised that China would be so blunt about such an intention. Vessels must obtain Canada’s permission to enter the Northwest Passage and comply with safety, security and environmental laws. Canadian scientists were also on board the Snow Dragon. Environmentalists express concern about increased traffic in the Arctic and urge more patrols. About 90 percent of China’s exports are by ship, and Canada appreciates that China respected sovereignty by requesting and waiting for permission to travel the Northwest Passage. – YaleGlobal.

The Globe and Mail: China Used Research Mission to Test Trade Route Through Canada’s Northwest Passage

China requests permission from Canada to send a research vessel through the Northwest Passage; Chinese news agency claims the nation seeks new trade route
Robert Fife and Steven Chase
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

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Robert Fife is The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa Bureau Chief and the host of CTV’s “Question Period with The Globe and Mail’s Robert Fife.” Fife, who has won many awards for his journalism, is also the author of several books: A Capital Scandal: Politics, Patronage and Payoff; Why Parliament Must Be Reformed; and Kim Campbell: The Making of a Politician. Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, The article includes reporting from Xiao Xu.

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