Chairmen Green, Gallagher, Comer, Westerman Request Briefing from DHS, DOI on Chinese Malign Activity in Arctic Region


Chairmen Green, Gallagher, Comer, Westerman Request Briefing from DHS, DOI on Chinese Malign Activity in Arctic Region

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN), Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY), and Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas and Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland, expressing concerns and requesting a briefing regarding China’s growing influence and activities in the Arctic region.

This latest letter is focused on new reports of increased mining operations and strategic land purchases by companies backed by or affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in and around Alaska, which could give the CCP increased ownership of rare-earth minerals and other important natural resources on American soil. Read the full letter here.

In the letter, the Chairmen write, “The U.S. government must comprehensively address the PRC’s activities in the North American Arctic—where the PRC has systematically sought to gain footholds in rare earth mining operations and purchase strategically significant land. To ensure the long-term welfare of our national security interests, the Committees request a briefing to determine how your agencies are actively mitigating foreign threats to our Arctic communities.”

The Chairmen continue, “We are specifically concerned with the PRC’s activities in and around Alaska, which is home to vast deposits of critical minerals. The United States is currently 100 percent net import reliant on 15 critical minerals and at least 50 percent import reliant on the PRC for 24 mineral commodities. Proven Alaskan reserves include multiple minerals on which the United States is 100 percent import-reliant and should not be surrendered to nefarious foreign entities, including those from the PRC. The Chinese Communist Party already weaponizes supply chain chokepoints in its markets, technology, and control over critical minerals to pressure the United States and our allies.”

The Chairmen conclude, “The implications of PRC influence in the Arctic are far-reaching, and it is incumbent upon us to work collaboratively to safeguard U.S. prosperity in the region. To ensure that China is not gaining a foothold in the North American Arctic and that tribal communities are well- informed and empowered to safeguard their interests, we request a briefing as soon as possible but no later than March 29, 2024.”


In a November 2023 House Homeland Security Committee Hearing, officials testified on the strategic importance of the Arctic not only to the United States but our adversaries. Members and witnesses highlighted the escalating geopolitical tensions in the region. Notably, Deputy Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Gautier testified that China has “expanded its capability at an absolutely extraordinary rate” in the Arctic.

In January, Chairman Green published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal detailing the evolving threat landscape in the Arctic and the need for a strong U.S. Coast Guard to enforce our sovereignty in the region.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at