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China in the Arctic. Policies, Strategies, and Opportunities for Alaska

24 September 2020

Authors of the report at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have analyzed actions of China in the Arctic region and tried to answer the following questions: which actions Chins already takes in the Arctic; which factors determine interests of the country in the Arctic region in terms of its domestic development, and how China considers its presence in the Arctic now and in future; how Alaska shall react to such cooperation, and which role does it play in complicated relations between the USA and China. It should be noted that experts both from China and Alaska took part in the report preparation.

The Roscongress Foundation presents the salient points of the publication accompanied by fragments of broadcasts of relevant panel discussions from the business programme of international events held by the Roscongress Foundation.

China has its own interests and needs in the Arctic region that mostly may be determined by domestic development of the republic.

China’s interests in the Arctic zone basically manifest themselves in such areas as climate change, resource and energy security (water and food security), as well as economic stability.

One of China’s motives in the Arctic region development includes economic outlook of Arctic routes, firstly, the Northern Sea Route. China is concerned with its long-term resource security and economic stability required to support its growing population. The Arctic region, on the other hand, has potential in domestic problem-solving, including food production and energy security.


China carries out an active policy in the Arctic region and identifies itself as a Near-Arctic State meaning that the country is «one of continental states located closest to the North Pole».

In the White Book on the Arctic Policy of China, a comprehensive Arctic strategy published in 2018, it is emphasized that «China is an important stakeholder in the Arctic affairs». It is also important that China highlights the requirement in building common future for all mankind in the Arctic.

In terms of work in this direction, the White Book on the Arctic Policy of China distinguishes three comprehensive goals and several ways to succeed: understand the Arctic, protect the Arctic and develop the Arctic.

It is worth noting that China implements various strategies to achieve political and economic influence in international affairs. The most essential strategies of China’s participation in development of the Arctic are investments (including foreign direct investments) and bilateral cooperation in the Arctic Council. China mostly tends to rely on bilateral partnership, and aims to work directly with the Arctic partners in order to achieve common goals.


In the recent years China and Alaska were developing unique relations based on common interests in trade, investments and tourism.

The report notes that upcoming challenges for trade relations between Alaska and China will arise in determination of the new development priorities by Alaska government and China’s participation in it. The authors reached a conclusion that despite China currently being an important trade partner for Alaska, influence of strained trade relations between China and the USA is still great. Therefore, in order to overcome growing uncertainty in the future of bilateral economic cooperation arisen due to ongoing trade warfare, Alaska and China shall cooperate at different levels.


For more information about construction as a sector with a sizeable share in many economies, rising level of digitalization, and shifts in consumer sentiment in real estate, please see the The Arctic, Environment, Economic progress, Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Globalization/regionalization.

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