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In the wake of new academic and government attention paid to China’s growing Arctic security interests, this talk examines the strategic advantages of deploying Chinese submarines to the polar waters, as well as the disadvantages and dangers inherent in such a mission. In contrast to growing assumption that a Chinese under-ice presence is both imminent and dangerous to the Western allies, we argue that a more nuanced understanding of the Arctic’s value to China is needed. This talk looks beyond the big picture assertions of circumpolar geopolitics to the operational realities of actually working and fighting in the North.
Adam Lajeunesse, PhD, is the Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Canadian Arctic Marine Security Policy and an Assistant Professor at the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government, St. Francis Xavier University. He is the author of Lock, Stock, and Icebergs (2016), a political history of the Northwest Passage, as well as co-author of the 2017 monograph China’s Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada, and co-editor of Canadian Arctic Operations, 1941-2015: Lessons Learned, Lost, and Relearned (2017). Lajeunesse works on questions of Arctic sovereignty and security policy and has written extensively on CAF Arctic operations, maritime security, Canadian-American cooperation in the North, and Canadian Arctic history.
Timothy Choi is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Calgary's Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies, where his dissertation is entitled, “Maritime Strategies of the North: The Seapower of Smaller Navies in an Era of Broadened Security,” which assesses how the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea affected the development of Danish, Norwegian, and Canadian maritime forces. He was a Smith Richardson Predoctoral Fellow at Yale University's International Security Studies, and he has most recently published in Ocean Development and International Law and Grey and White Hulls: An International Analysis of the Navy-Coastguard Nexus edited by Koh and Bowers. He also serves on the editorial board of the Canadian Naval Review.
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