23 May 2012

How Denmark Sees Asia

Eddie Walsh,How Denmark Sees Asia,” The Diplomat, 21 May 2012.

…Pacific Forum CSIS non-resident fellow Eddie Walsh talks with Danish Ambassador H.E. Peter Taksøe-Jensen, whose country currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union. Their conversation centers on the opportunities and challenges Europe faces as a result of the rise of Asia. …

Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins have pointed out that “Danish diplomatic assistance is opening the gate for China to establish a strategic foothold in the Arctic.” In their view, “Danish diplomacy is literally following the money as some of the country’s policy elites turn away from the U.S.” Do you agree with their characterization of Danish bilateral relations with China and the U.S.?

We’ve had a very close cooperation with the U.S. on the Arctic. These quotations presuppose that the U.S. wants to keep China out of the Arctic. I don’t see that in any way in my conversations. We want to work with the U.S. to establish the necessary framework to manage the Arctic – our last new frontier – as best we can. Our leaders believe the best way to do that is through bilateral and multilateral cooperation and building governance. The fact that China is interested in the natural resources of Greenland or Canada or the northern part of Russia doesn’t really change that.

We have home rule in Greenland so Danish Greenlanders decide a lot of what goes on there. But I do know that they would welcome closer U.S. interest in developing some of the resources in Greenland, such as oil and gas, rare earth metals, and other minerals. Our wish in Denmark is that (Arctic development in Greenland) is done in a way that promotes the Greenlandic population so that they benefit and prosper from the new opportunities that open up from the exploitation of natural resources. …

Click here to read the article cited: Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, “China’s New Strategic Target: Arctic Minerals,” China Real Time Report (中国事实报), Wall Street Journal, 18 January 2012.