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article imageChina has declared it plans to ship cargo via Northwest Passage

By Karen Graham     Apr 23, 2016 in Politics
Beijing - Chinese maritime authorities have published a guide giving detailed route guidance for cargo ships that takes them through the Northwest Passage, a route claimed by Canada. China claims an Atlantic to Pacific route will save companies time and money.
Because of global warming, increased ice melt has opened a new series of sea routes across the top of the world and put into question the intents of the eight nations having territorial claims in the region.
The Canadian government claims that a clear passage could become a valuable trade route, but Canada also claims sovereignty over the Northwest Passage, even with the United States and other countries claiming the region is considered international waters.
Of course, China has not said where it stands on Canada's claim of authority, and for now, all ship owners have is the 365-page "Arctic Navigation Guide (Northwest Passage)." China's Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) cites the route taken by the ore-carrying ship, Nunavik, that made an unsupported voyage from Deception Bay, Quebec to China in 2014, reports the Huffington Post.
An ice-free Northwest Passage is seen in this handout satellite photo from NASA taken on Sept. 15  2...
An ice-free Northwest Passage is seen in this handout satellite photo from NASA taken on Sept. 15, 2007.
Terra Satellite/NASA
"Once this route is commonly used, it will directly change global maritime transport and have a profound influence on international trade, the world economy, capital flow and resource exploitation," ministry spokesman Liu Pengfei was quoted as saying by ABC.net.au. “There will be ships with Chinese flags sailing through this route in the future," he added.
However, University of Calgary professor Rob Huebert told the Globe and Mail the move by the Chinese could present “the biggest direct challenge to Canadian sovereignty in the Northwest Passage if Chinese ships are dispatched without Canadian consent."
China has a way of showing its territorial assertiveness when it comes to trade. We have already seen this in the South China Sea where Beijing has constructed artificial islands in waters claimed by other countries.
More about Northwest passage, China, Global warming, Panama canal, canada sovereignty
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