Canada denies Chinese state media report that sailor was stopped in Northwest Passage

Zhai Mo is attempting to circumnavigate Arctic Ocean

A view from the sailboat of Zhai Mo, who is trying to sail around the Arctic. Transport Canada recently warned the Chinese sailor that foreign boats are prohibited from travelling through the Northwest Passage for pleasure or recreational purposes, due to COVID-19 concerns. (Screenshot courtesy of China Global Television Network)

By David Lochead

Chinese state media is reporting the Canadian government stopped a Chinese sailor attempting to circumnavigate the Arctic Ocean last week, but Transport Canada says no such thing happened.

“Captain Zhai Mo has not entered Canadian Arctic waters,” Transport Canada stated in an email to Nunatsiaq News on Sept. 17.

Chinese media claim Mo was stopped at Lancaster Sound, in the Northwest Passage.

Mo, along with two crew members, is sailing a 25-metre boat that is fully solar powered and sponsored by Chinese telecom corporation China Mobile.

He is well known in China for his quest to sail non-stop around the Arctic Ocean and his travels are being closely covered by Chinese state media. Mo claims his journey, which he is video-blogging, will be the first of its kind.

Transport Canada told Nunatsiaq News it emailed Mo to relay that foreign boats going through the country’s waters for recreation or pleasure are temporarily prohibited due to COVID-19.

Transport Canada added it had seen reports that Mo now plans to avoid Canadian waters and the department “is monitoring the situation.”

According to Chinese state media, Mo is scheduled to return to China by the end of the year.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Empty Threats and Saber Rattling on

    Like it or not, Canada has no right to prohibit passage through these waters. Which is exactly why they did not, nor will they ever, act on their empty threats to foreign vessels.

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    • Posted by John Mc. on

      The northwest passage has always been considered internal waters by Canadian Govt. True we don’t go blasting boats out of the water when they cross that red line, but just cause it’s called a “passage” doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all.

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      • Posted by Unpopular Opinion on

        It doesn’t matter what the Canadian government thinks, what matters is what the international community and international courts think… and they don’t agree with you.

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  2. Posted by Crystal Clarity on

    They should keep the Chinese out. Can’t trust anything they do. Vessel loaded with telecom tech. Not a good thing.

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  3. Posted by Kevin on

    Tell the CCP they can have dust and mud. Stay out of our waters, stay out of foreign countries waters unless given permission. China thinks it can push the small kids on the yard around. Trouble is, there’s still another kid bigger and stronger (US), and alot of smaller kids that will stand against their plans.

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  4. Posted by Truestory on

    Should be like The Panamal Canal. Charge them 1 million bucks a ship to go through NUNAVUT’S Northwest Passage. The N.G. would benefit from the surcharge.

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