Just weeks after the US Coast Guard secured funding for a new and long-awaited icebreaker and the US Navy announced that it plans to sail multiple vessels through the Arctic Ocean this summer, the announcement that Mr. Pompeo is expected to participate in the ministerial meeting on May 6-7 represents the latest signal for the emergence of the Arctic as an important area of US policy.
A US State Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed Mr. Pompeo’s travel plans, the news agency Reuters reported. “We want to show that we are committed to being an Arctic nation, an Arctic power. Chinese action has really focused everyone’s minds.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Johnny Michael, a Pentagon spokesperson with regard to the US’ new Arctic defense strategy due to be released in June. The strategy will outline how the US “can best defend national interests and support security and stability in the Arctic,” and will focus heavily on China’s expansion into the Arctic.
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