Analysis of China's Arctic Route Development associated with the Belt and Road initiative

중국의 북극항로 개발사업, 일도(一道)의 특징과 시사점

  • Song, Min-Geun (Graduate School of Logistics, Incheon National University)
  • 송민근 (인천대학교 동북아물류대학원)
  • Received : 2017.10.20
  • Accepted : 2018.02.20
  • Published : 2018.02.28


The potential competitiveness for new routes and resources has been theoretically discussed with regards to the Arctic route but is gradually becoming a reality as global warming increases. In June of 2017, China officially included the Northern Sea Route (NSR) as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and major countries' interests in the NSR are greatly expanding. This paper presents the general characteristics of the NSR, NSR development in China, the expected relationship between the NSR and the BRI, and this relationship's implications for Korea. The NSR has poor facilities and information infrastructure and is not economically viable for commercial navigation due to its high-cost conditions compared to competitive routes. In order to explore the Arctic and develop the NSR, large-scale projects must be funded over a long period of time; this has caused major difficulties in development. However, as the NSR is included in the BRI, there could be an opportunity to utilize BRI funds, such as Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Further, China's NSR development and the NSR development of partner countries, such as Korea, should be further stimulated. As Korea has strengths in terms of its shipbuilding technology and geographical location, which is located at the core of the NSR, Korea would have chances to expand the economic cooperation and business opportunities with China and Russia.


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