This book presents narratives, perspectives and policies on the Arctic and brings to fore the strategies of five Asian countries – China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore who were granted the status of Permanent Observers in the Arctic Council in 2013. The book also captures Arctic countries' reactions to Asian approaches, and their expectations from these countries.
The melting of the polar sea-ice induced by climate change has placed the Arctic region in the forefront of global scientific, economic, strategic and academic interest. The discourse involves a number of issues such as claims of the littoral countries to the continental shelves of the region, the management and exploitation of its living and non-living resources, the rights and interests of indigenous communities, and the prospects of new ice-free shipping routes. The contemporary discourse also suggests that the Arctic region presents challenges and offers opportunities for the international community.
These issues have given rise to new geopolitical, geoeconomic, and geostrategic dynamics amongst the Arctic littorals, and led to the growing interest of non-Arctic states in the affairs of the Arctic. It is evident that the Asian countries have a variety of interests in the Arctic, and the grant of Permanent Observer status to these countries is an acknowledgement of their capabilities. These countries are keen to explore opportunities in the Arctic, and have begun to formulate appropriate long-term national strategies. The preliminary approach of the Asian Observer countries has rightly been to graduate from 'involvement' to 'engagement' in the Arctic, which seems to have generated significant interest amongst analysts. Asia and the Arctic helps to understand the approaches of various Arctic and non-Arctic stakeholders, in light of the evolving dynamics in the region.
Part 1. Evolving Dynamics in the Arctic:
Chapter 1. The Dynamics of Arctic Development
Chapter 2. Arctic: A Paradox and Antithesis
Chapter 3. Balancing Development and Environmental Concerns in the Arctic
Part 2. Asian Country Perspectives:
Chapter 4. Challenges in the Arctic Exploitation and their Impacts on China's Arctic position
Chapter 5. India's scientific endeavours in the Arctic
Chapter 6. A Cooperative Maritime Capacity-Sharing Strategy for the Arctic Region: The South Korean Perspective
Chapter 7. Singapore and the Arctic: Tropical Country, Polar Interests
Part 3. Arctic Countries' Perspectives on Asian Approaches:
Chapter 8. Arctic: A US Perspective
Chapter 9. Finnish Perspectives on the Arctic and Asia
Chapter 10. The Road to the East Goes via the North - Asian Partnerships in Danish Arctic Policy
Chapter 11. Russian Perspectives on Asian Approaches to the Arctic
Chapter 12. Summary and Takeaways
Dr. Vijay Sakhuja is Director National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi. A former navy officer, he has worked in a number of Indian think tanks and was Director of Research at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi. He is also visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. Dr. Sakhuja is the author of Asian Maritime Power in the 21st Century: Strategic Transactions – China, India, Southeast Asia; Confidence Building from the Sea: An Indian Initiative; and co-author of Climate Change and the Bay of Bengal: Evolving Geographies of Fear and Hope. He has edited/co-edited over 20 volumes on various geopolitical/geostrategic issues and maritime history.
Commander (Dr.) Kapil Narula is a serving officer of the Indian Navy and is currently posted as a Research Fellow at the National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi. He holds an M.Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering (IIT, Kharagpur) and a Ph.D. degree in Development Economics (IGIDR, a deemed university of the Reserve Bank of India). He has served on-board frontline warships and as an instructor at training establishments. His last appointment was (acting) Head of Faculty, Electronics and Communication Engineering at the Indian Naval Academy. His areas of competence are energy, sustainability, economic policy, climate change and maritime issues and he attempts to integrate multi-disciplinary aspects in his work. His papers have appeared in various academic journals published by Elsevier and at online forums such as Oxford Energy Forum and Asian Development Bank Institute. He is the co-editor of two books Partnering Across Oceans and Maritime Dynamics in the Indo-Pacific and is the Executive Editor of the journal Maritime Affairs, published bi-annually by Routledge.