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Trump Administration Has A New Plan For Greenland
Colourful houses in Illulisat on Greenland Ilulissat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the Jacobshavn Glacier or Sermeq Kujalleq which is the largest glacier outside Antarctica The glacier drains 7% of the Greenland ice sheet and produces enough water from calving icebergs in one day to provide New York with water for 1 year Climate change has meant the glacier has speeded up and is now one of the fastest glaciers in the world at up to 40 metres per day and is also receeding rapidly.
Ashley Cooper/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

The Trump administration reportedly has new plans for Greenland after President Donald Trump’s desire to buy the world’s largest island did not gain enough traction last year to come to fruition.

Trump’s new plan, which was revealed in the administration’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021, is to build the “first permanent consular services outpost in the strategic location in the Arctic Circle,” Politico reported.

The State Department’s proposed budget stated that it was requesting $587,000 to “establish a permanent diplomatic presence in Greenland, which was previously notified to Congress.”

Trump’s initial plan to buy Greenland was revealed in an August report from The Wall Street Journal:

The idea of the U.S. purchasing Greenland has captured the former real-estate developer’s imagination, according to people familiar with the discussion, who said Mr. Trump has, with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest in buying the ice-covered autonomous Danish territory between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea.

While some initially mocked Trump’s idea of buying Greenland, many noted that it was of significant strategic value in countering Russian and Chinese aggression in the arctic.

Politico reported last year:

Advocates of bolstering U.S. ties to Greenland see it as a way of elbowing out geopolitical rivals, namely China and Russia, that have aggressively targeted the Arctic with military bases, scientific research stations and strategic investments.

Doing so — let alone annexing Greenland outright — would help America beat China in the race for the Arctic, they say, while expanding domestic access to critical mineral resources.

Chinese plans to finance and build three airports in Greenland and the intelligence reports that were likely given to Trump on the matter might have helped spark the president’s acquisitive instincts, according to a former official in a Republican administration who is familiar with the matter.

Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen wrote last year about Greenland’s untapped natural resources and the strategic importance of those resources:

Greenland has enormous unexplored stores of natural resources, including zinc, lead, gold, iron ore, diamonds, copper and uranium, that Denmark has been unable or unwilling to exploit.

It also has large, untapped stores of rare-earth elements, such as praseodymium or dysprosium, that are critical to the production of everything from electric cars to smartphones and lasers. Today, the United States gets many of these rare-earth elements from China, which makes Americans dependent on Beijing. The Wall Street Journal reports that Beijing may cut off access to those minerals in its trade dispute with Washington, and China is also trying to corner the market for rare-earth elements in Greenland. Buying Greenland would put those strategically valuable minerals in U.S. hands.

After Trump’s interest in buying the island was reported on by The Wall Street Journal, the president tweeted a meme that joked that he would not build a Trump building on the island.

When Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen made clear that Greenland was not for sale, Trump responded by canceling a previously scheduled meeting that the administration was supposed to have with Denmark.

“Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” Trump tweeted. “The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!”

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