China’s Arctic Diplomacy: Global and Regional Aspects
Chinese diplomacy in the Arctic region is the reflection of recent adjustments in the direction of Chinese foreign policy. Beijing’s Arctic policies are aimed at the convergence of interest in domestic development and global participation. Maintaining a stable energy supply and avoiding the “Malacca dilemma” are vital to China’s national interests. The combination of market benefits and energy security has been a strategy adopted by China to realize the ability to hedge in international affairs. China’s participation in the Arctic Council is interpreted in this chapter as taking proactive policies in Arctic affairs to join the rule-making game. Looking towards the future, China may intend to demonstrate to the international society that it could serve as a contributor, instead of a free-rider, in international affairs. Multiple actors in both the state and society may join the complex game of regional and global governance in the Arctic. The international society is still keeping watch on China’s new Arctic diplomacy. Whether China could utilize the Arctic region as a vehicle to build trust and alleviate skepticism about its rise will be a key factor in the smooth transition of Chinese diplomacy.