It nay not own a single centimeter of land in the Arctic, but China is developing the means to flex its muscles in a region that, thanks to global warming, could become the next Mecca for energy sources
China's State Oceanic Administration has provided more information about its first domestically built icebreaker, announcing the expected entry into service in 2013 of an 8,000-tonne vessel with a cruising radius of 20,000 n miles.
The new USD300 million icebreaker will be operational at temperatures below -35 degrees C and will be equipped with helicopters, robots, workboats and other facilities, Chinese reports said.
It will join the 21,250-tonne Xue Long, or Snow Dragon (pictured), the world's largest non-nuclear-powered icebreaker, which was purchased from Ukraine in 1993.
My article, published today in Jane’s Defence Weekly, continues here (subscription required).