Pentagon warns about China’s increased activity in the Arctic, growing ambition to expand its presence

ABC News
Date: May 3, 2019
By: Elizabeth McLaughlin and Conor Finnegan

Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images, FILE

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China is increasing its activity in the Arctic, building a second ice-breaking ship and looking to expand its footprint in Greenland, according to a new Pentagon report, and Beijing’s presence in the region could lead to the deployment of armed submarines, the report warned.

The warning comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to attend a summit of the Arctic Council, the eight countries with territory in the region, and hopes to rally them to counter Chinese influence.

“We’ve committed to peace and sustainable economic developments [in the Arctic] for the long term, and we’re concerned about activities of other nations, including China, that do not share these same commitments,” said a senior State Department official, speaking anonymously to brief reporters.

As in previous years, the congressionally mandated Pentagon report assesses China’s military and security developments and how those fit in with the nation’s long-term growth strategies in the Pacific. This year’s report specifically highlights China’s growing interest in the Arctic, which has alarmed countries with interests in that region.    [FULL  STORY]