The Arctic Institute sees agreement the China-Iceland trade agreement as a clear sign of China's drive to gain a foothold in the Arctic region.
In response the signing of a free trade agreement between China and Iceland today, The Arctic Institute’s Executive Director Malte Humpert said:
" ... Iceland's strategically valuable location at the entrance to the Arctic Ocean and its year-round ice free waters make it a natural ally in China's goal to gain access to the Arctic's shipping routes. The signing of the agreement today is a further indication of the importance China places in the development of Arctic shipping routes”.
“Iceland's role as a potential Arctic shipping hub may be further strengthened by future mining and mineral activity in neighboring Greenland. Following Greenland's recent election, Chinese investments in the island's mining industry appear more likely, and the required infrastructure and the export of mining products would make use of Icelandic ports.”
Source: The Arctic Institute