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27 Apr, 2019 08:49

Putin vows to connect Russia’s Northern Sea Route with China’s Maritime Silk Road

Putin vows to connect Russia’s Northern Sea Route with China’s Maritime Silk Road

A global shipping lane could connect East Asia and Europe if China’s Maritime Silk Road joins Russia’s Northern Sea Route, Vladimir Putin told world leaders as they gathered for a Belt and Road meeting in Beijing.

Russia is doing its utmost to invest in its Northern Sea Route, a major maritime lane spanning between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but much more could be done in the future, Putin said. “We are considering connecting it with the Chinese Maritime Silk Road,” the president explained.

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If that ambitious effort succeeds, “a global and competitive route connecting northeastern, eastern and southeastern Asia with Europe” will emerge. All countries taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative are therefore encouraged to embark on the project.

Inspired by the historic trade routes that connected Europe to East Asia, Beijing’s Maritime Silk Road project makes up the overseas portion of its Belt and Road Initiative by linking Chinese ports to ones in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa. However, routes passing through disputed territories in the South China Sea could potentially raise geopolitical tensions with neighboring Vietnam, the Philippines Malaysia, and Taiwan if left unresolved. The waterway sees $5 trillion in trade pass through it every year.

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