What Exactly is the PRC up to in the Arctic?

Climate change and climate-induced emergencies and crises are also creating newly contested, geopolitical arenas.  In February 2021, OODA CTO Bob Gourley reported on the “Blueprint for a Blue Ocean”: In January 2021, the Department of Navy released their Strategic Blueprint for a Blue Arctic.  The document outlines their plan to prepare for an increasingly available and navigable Arctic Region.  Signed by the Chief of Naval Operations, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, it looks forward twenty years and envisions the requirements to protect American interests in the Arctic.

China considers the Arctic a critical link in its One Belt One Road initiative and is building polar-capable cargo vessels, liquefied natural gas tankers, and nuclear-powered icebreakers. Both China and Russia have increased their military activity in the region and have made numerous attempts to alter the existing Arctic governance. The recently released “Exploring the Relationship between China’s Investment in the Arctic and Its National Strategy” by CNA provides a federally mandated update on Chinese activities in the arctic and the “Chinese Dream.”