Bloomberg reports that “Chinese interest in Greenland’s mineral wealth is reigniting the Arctic island’s campaign to sever ties with Denmark after almost 200 years of colonial rule.”
According to a February 24 story, calls for the territory’s independence are growing louder as Denmark, which controls Greenland’s foreign policy, opposes Greenland’s plan to cooperate with Chinese companies to develop its vast mineral resources. A formal proposal to break with Denmark was submitted earlier in February by Greenland’s second largest party, as political delays are hampering progress on exploration efforts:
(…) Greenlanders are eager to prevent political delays from Denmark hampering their dream of tapping their mineral wealth. The island is struggling to get projects off the ground after the financial crisis curtailed investments. Oil and gas explorers have spent more than $1 billion on failed attempts to discover oil, further jeopardizing continued investor interest.
These developments bear testimony to the growing importance of resource policy, and its far-reaching implications for other areas, such as geopolitics, as a Danish policy maker recently made clear to parliament:
“It’s not an unimportant issue we have on our hands,” Claus Hjort-Frederiksen, the former Liberal Party finance minister, told parliament in Copenhagen on Jan. 23. “This may allow for 3,000-4,000 underpaid Chinese miners to arrive in Greenland. There are geopolitical concerns. Chinese interest in the Arctic is no minor matter.”
Read more about Greenland’s resource potential in Daniel McGroarty’s 2009 piece for RealClearWorld.