Greenland has gone to the polls in what is widely seen as a referendum on a colossal Chinese-backed mining project that has triggered alarm bells in Western capitals. The autonomous Danish island, home to just 56,000 people, has gained geopolitical significance in recent years, with melting sea ice revealing vast deposits of rare earth minerals used to make smartphones, electric vehicles and weapons, as well as nickel, zinc, copper and iron. Greenland is also a gateway to the Arctic, where melting ice is fuelling competition for resources and access, particularly to the strategic Northwest Passage shipping route. Beijing has pursued close ties with Greenland, signing mining deals, while Washington has offered millions in aid and opened a consulate in Nuuk, the capital, last year. In 2019, then-president Donald Trump offered to buy Greenland, which Denmark dismissed as “absurd”.
Times 7th April 2021 read more »