Not Stopping Cold: China’s Emerging Strategies in the Arctic
Note n°13 of the China Observatory, by Marc Lanteigne (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Oslo)
China’s Arctic policy remains very much a work in progress. Although Beijing, under President Xi Jinping, has greatly expanded its Arctic policies, both political and economic, over the past decade, there is yet to be an issue-specific governmental plan published which outlines China’s emerging interests in the Arctic (and the Antarctic). Until recently, Chinese policymakers were also somewhat reluctant to publically describe the country’s Arctic affairs except in very broad dimensions.At present, Beijing is working to develop not only a more comprehensive Arctic policy but also more concrete Arctic identity.
Despite Beijing’s increasing Arctic interests, the Xi government has repeatedly sought to downplay the role of security in Chinese circumpolar diplomacy. However, the emerging geopolitics of the Arctic, and ongoing questions about its future economic value,
have meant that China can ill-afford to ignore the various policy dimensions of the region, especially given the country’s lack of an Arctic border and the large number of strategic variables which are important to Beijing’s foreign policy interests.
- Unpacking China’s Arctic Interests
- New Directions in Chinese Arctic Diplomacy