The Arctic and Africa in China’s Foreign Policy: How Different Are They and What Does This Tell Us?

  • Christer Pursiainen UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • Chris Alden London School of Economics, England
  • Rasmus Bertelsen UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Abstract

The article discusses China’s policies in and towards the Arctic and Africa within a comparative perspective. To what extent is China’s policy adaptable to different conditions? What does this adaptability tell us about China’s ascendant great-power role in the world in general? What is the message to the Arctic and Africa respectively? The article concludes that China’s regional strategies aptly reflect the overall grand strategy of a country that is slowly but surely aiming at taking on the role of leading global superpower. In doing so, Chinese foreign policy has demonstrated flexibility and adaptive tactics, through a careful tailoring of its so-called core interests and foreign policy principles, and even identity politics, to regional conditions. This implies that regions seeking autonomy in the context of great power activism and contestation should develop their own strategies not only for benefiting from Chinese investment but also in terms of managing dependency on China and in relation to China and great power competition.

Published
2021-02-08
How to Cite
Pursiainen, C., Alden, C., & Bertelsen, R. (2021). The Arctic and Africa in China’s Foreign Policy: How Different Are They and What Does This Tell Us?. Arctic Review, 12, 31-55. https://doi.org/10.23865/arctic.v12.2440
Section
Original Articles
Keywords
China-Arctic, China-Africa, geoeconomics, geopolitics, regional regimes, China’s sub-global identities, China’s roles