tirsdag 23. mars 2021

China’s Arctic Ambitions Face Increasing Headwinds in Finland

According to the Finnish public broadcasting company Yle, the state-funded Polar Research Institute of China attempted in 2018 to buy or lease an airportnear the small town of Kemijärvi in northern Finland, for research flights over the North Pole and other parts of the Arctic region. The negotiating delegation team was spearheaded by the institute’s director Zhang Xia and Xu Shijie, director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration. Curiously, the delegation included an assistant of the military attaché of the Chinese Embassy in Helsinki, Maj. Jie Li.

The Finnish Defense Forces, however, promptly blocked the deal on security grounds given that the airport is located in close proximity to the Rovajärvi firing range.