Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 268

268 Arctic Yearbook 2015 In these statements, not only the term ‘common’, but also the words ‘mankind’ and ‘human’ convey the idea of global commonality. The latter signal furthermore that the interest in the Arctic is not a matter of sheer geographical proximity. Rather, all of humanity, not first and foremost States, has stakes in its inherited wealth, irrespective of the world’s political organisation and of the Arctic’s remoteness. A variation to the ‘common heritage of mankind’ is put forward by Witschel’s (2010: 34) description of the Arctic region as an “ecological heritage of mankind”. In this expression and its focus on the heritage’s ecological dimension, the interest of humanity appears even more natural. Transboundary, even global commonality unmistakably emerge from this emphasis on humanity over statehood. The idea of commonality is less obvious, but still perceptible in references that do not use the words ‘common’ or ‘human(kind)’, but underscore shared interests or concerns. Indeed, Huang Xing, the Chinese Ambassador to Finland, reportedly said that the healthy development of the Arctic “is a matter which not only concerns the surrounding countries of the arctic [sic] but also concerns other members of the international community” (Anonymous 2013b; Chinese version: 李骥志 2013). A spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, Hong Lei, is quoted as having declared that “Arctic-related issues are not only regional matters, but also cross-regional matters involving climate change and navigation” (Kopra 2013: 110). According to the EU, the Arctic