Executive Intelligence Review


Chinese Cargo Ship Transits Bering Strait on First Trip Along Polar Silk Road

Aug. 18, 2018 (EIRNS)—A Chinese ice-class cargo ship Tian En crossed the Bering Strait yesterday for its maiden voyage to the European market through the Northeast Passage, en route to the ports of France, Sweden, and the Netherlands. “It is the shortest route linking Northeast Asia and Northern Europe, and more importantly, it’s a safe one,” said Captain Chen Xiangwu, referring to the Arctic’s Northeast Passage, also called the “Polar Silk Road,” reported Xinhua. The voyage will save 12 days, compared with traditional sea routes.

Even this time of year, there will be icebergs in the Bering Strait crossing, but the ship will have the assistance of the array of Russian icebreakers dispersed along the route, if needed. It is also intent on avoiding creating any pollution along the route. “We ask our crew to strictly adhere to related international conventions,” said Zhang Li, the deputy general manager of COSCO Shipping which owns the vessel. “The wastes on the ship are deliberately sorted and handled, so that we can help build a green Polar Silk Road.”

In a January White Paper on the Arctic Passage, China committed to making the route a part of the Belt and Road Initiative.