Russia and China in the Arctic: Real or Alleged Disagreements?

328
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-2-63-71

A. Zagorskii, Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (zagorskiandrei@gmail.com

Abstract. The article concentrates on two issues articulated by Xu Guangmiao in her article “China's Arctic Interests and Policy: History, Legal Ground and Implementation” published in the same issue of the Journal: Arctic Governance (and particularly the applicability of the "Common Heritage of the Mankind in the Arctic" concept), as well as the concept of the Northern Sea Route “internationalization” based on the navigation freedom principle. Both issues are considered controversial in Russia–China relations. In addressing those issues, the author seeks to separate real and alleged divergences between the two countries. He argues that apparent differences in their particular approaches do not reflect any fundamental divergences and can be transcended if handled pragmatically, with recognition of the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdictions of coastal states, as well as of the non-Arctic states' rights and responsibilities under the Law of the Sea. In particular, the author argues that there is no controversy surrounding China’s expectation that an Area of the Common Heritage of the Mankind would occur in the central part of the Arctic Ocean as long as the process of the continental shelf outer limits setting by the coastal states in the Arctic Ocean takes place within the procedures established by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Similarly, China accepts the regulation of vessels traffic alongside the Northern Sea Route based on the Article 234 of the Convention, and would not be able to claim the freedom of transit passage through the NSR straits unless it joined the U.S. claim that the straight baselines drawn by Russia (and Canada) effectively including those straits into their internal sea waters violate the provisions of the Convention. So far, China does not. And as long as the NSR water area remains ice-covered for most of the year, this issue remains of theoretical rather than of practical importance. 

Keywords: Russia, China, Arctic, continental shelf, common heritage of the mankind, Northern Sea Route, freedom of navigation 


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Zagorskii A. Russia and China in the Arctic: Real or Alleged Disagreements?. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2016, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 63-71. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-2-63-71



Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment







Indexed

 

 

 

 

Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies

 

Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 5
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Are There Any Ways to Break Through the Korean Nuclear Impasse?
  • Contemporary U.S. Taiwan Policy: Balancing on the Edge
  • The Gulf Monarchies’ Vision of the Global Order Transformations and the Russian Place in It
  • At Post-Soviet Space
Submit an Article
INVITATION FOR PUBLICATION
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.