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A woman walks past election posters in Nuuk, Greenland. Photo: Christian Klindt Soelbeck/AFP/Getty Images

Greenland has self-rule, but formally remains part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Some of its 56,000 residents want full independence, but the country needs Denmark’s cash.

What to watch: China, as you may have heard, also has cash, and it wants access to the Arctic’s potentially vast reserves of oil, gas, metals, and minerals. China is also interested in new sea lanes created by melting ice, for reasons both commercial and strategic.

  • Greenland has access to the Arctic, but it needs infrastructure. It has no roads connecting the country’s 17 towns and just one international airport. China, as you may have heard, likes to invest in construction of infrastructure in other countries.
  • As international competition for Arctic resources heats up, lot of governments—particularly Arctic Council members the United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and (especially) Denmark—are watching closely to see what Greenland’s government does next.

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Go deeper

Biden to stress U.S. does not seek new Cold War in UN speech

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden will use his first address before the UN General Assembly to lay out his vision for an era of "intensive diplomacy" with allies and "vigorous competition" with great powers — without a Cold War with China.

Why it matters: Biden will take the podium in New York on Tuesday with his own international credibility in question after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. His administration also is struggling to build international momentum to fight climate change, the pandemic and rising global authoritarianism.

New lobby group will press an urban agenda in D.C.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The newly formed Coalition for Urban Innovation consists of 14 companies and nonprofits "dedicated to advancing federal policies that make our cities more sustainable and equitable through technology and innovation."

Why it matters: With the infrastructure bill still a congressional work-in-progress, the group aims to tilt money and policy toward smart infrastructure, energy efficiency, clean energy, reducing the carbon footprint of buildings and the like.

Sep 19, 2021 - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.