November 26, 2014

Nong Hong

The new geopolitical landscape of the Arctic today is a significant departure from the great power politics that existed in the region during the Cold War era. Apart from traditional Arctic states, more and more international organizations and non-Arctic states are showing an increasing interest in this region. This paper explores the growing interests of China, among a select group of non-Arctic states, in the Arctic and examines the nature of its interests and motivations in wanting to maintain both its involvement and presence in the region. China’s interests range from participating in Arctic governance affairs, promoting bilateral diplomacy in the Arctic area and accessing potential resources to exploiting shipping opportunities and undertaking polar research. China’s March towards the Arctic region is a low profile one. China has gained some success since it has become a permanent observer with the Arctic Council, bolstered its bilateral relations with the Arctic states and participated in the development of resources in the region. However, China’s Arctic strategy is just beginning and it still faces many challenges, including disputes over territorial sovereignty, vigilance among certain countries, constraints from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the natural environment in the Arctic region and China’s technological constraints.

To view more or to purchase: The Polar Journal, 2014 Vol. 4, No. 2, 271–286,

To cite this article: Nong Hong (2014) Emerging interests of non-Arctic countries in the Arctic: a Chinese perspective, The Polar Journal, 4:2, 271-286, DOI: 10.1080/2154896X.2014.954888