Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will deliver a speech in Finland on Monday vowing to counter China’s efforts to bolster its Arctic territory, Politico reports.
Pompeo will say in his speech President Donald Trump’s administration sees the Arctic as “an arena of global power and competition,” and “just because the Arctic is a place of wilderness does not mean it should become a place of lawlessness.”
The secretary will give the speech before meeting with officials from seven countries that have Arctic territory, but his address will focus on Russia and, to a greater extent, China.
“Do we want the Arctic Ocean to transform into a new South China Sea, fraught with militarization and competing territorial claims?” Pompeo will ask.
“Under President Trump, we are fortifying America’s security and diplomatic presence” in the Arctic, he will continue. “On the security side, partly in response to Russia’s destabilizing activities, we are hosting military exercises, strengthening our force presence, rebuilding our icebreaker fleet, expanding Coast Guard funding, and creating a new senior military post for Arctic Affairs.”
Following his time in Finland, Pompeo will stop in Greenland to announce an increased U.S. diplomatic effort in the country. Politico notes the Trump administration has concerns about Chinese influence on Greenland, and hope to counter it.
“With our presence here firmly established, America is renewing its leadership in this region, and we are counting on our partners in Greenland and Denmark to lead with us,” Pompeo will say.
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