Home GRASP GRASP/China China's President Xi Jinping makes surprise stop in Alaska

China's President Xi Jinping makes surprise stop in Alaska

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The visit underscores China’s Arctic ambitions.
China’s President Xi Jinping made a surprise stop in Alaska on Friday after a two-day summit with U. S. President Donald Trump in Florida, underscoring China’s resource ambitions in the global far north.
Xi met with Alaska Gov. Bill Walker on Friday night during a refueling stop in Anchorage before resuming the flight to Beijing. The two talked trade — Walker told Xi that Alaska could provide the resource-hungry country with a “generation’s worth” of liquefied natural gas, according to local media.
China is Alaska’s top export market — the state sold more than $1 billion worth of goods to China last year, according to the U. S. Census Bureau. Its biggest export was fish.
“I think this is an extremely valuable opportunity to meet with our largest trade partner face to face,” said Chris Hladick, the commissioner of the state’s Commerce Department, according to the Associated Press. He called the meeting a “once-in-a lifetime opportunity.”
Although the Chinese government has not articulated a clear Arctic policy, the world’s northernmost extreme sits on formidable quantities of mineral reserves, and China has positioned itself as a major stakeholder in the area.
In recent years, China began construction on a research station in Iceland, hosted a major conference on reindeer herding and normalized diplomatic relations with Norway after a six-year freeze.

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