Yet Trump’s interest in Greenland is just the latest indication of the island’s increasing geopolitical importance. It is even drawing the eye of China.
Trump’s administration is not the first to make an inquiry about buying the island. President Harry Truman expressed desire to acquire the island in 1946 for $100 million in gold, and earlier attempts to buy the island stretch back to 1867.
Greenland’s strategic value is linked tightly to new North Atlantic shipping lanes opening up due to melting polar ice caps. The new lanes have dramatically decreased maritime trade travel times, which generally includes traveling through the Panama or Suez canals to circumnavigate the world.