China and the Nordics: Tracing Trends in Relations
- Diplomatic relations between Modern China and the Nordic States grew from different points of departure yet followed roughly congruent paths, adhering closely to Beijing’s domestic and regional priorities.
- Trade and political exchanges were instrumentalized to facilitate the immediate goals of Nordic and Chinese leaders, going through periods of greater proximity and disruption as objectives transformed.
- Modern relations have been deeply affected by the increased economic, social, and interpersonal exchanges inherent to the globalized world, with significant implications for discourses on human rights, international value chains, technological development, and security.
- The dual perception of China as both a partner and competitor is fueling a push to reevaluate Sino-Nordic relations. This manifests itself in concerns about the national security impact of mergers and acquisitions, escalated diplomatic rhetoric, and Beijing’s growing willingness to apply economic pressure over political issues. At the same time, the recognition of China’s importance on the international stage necessitates cooperation on financial, governance, and environmental issues.
- Even during periods of lacking state-to-state relations, ideological exchanges continued to shape Sino-Nordic relations. Maoist thought and practice entered Nordic political discourse at a critical juncture, shaping a societal legacy of questioning hierarchy and structures, even after China’s embrace of market principles disillusioned Nordic Maoists.
- Over the past decade, the Arctic has elicited ever more attention from governments, businesses, and civil society. In the context of Sino-Nordic relations, the region occupies a special place with unique challenges and opportunities pertaining to climate change, evolving security considerations, and potential trade and investment flows.
- The main body of the text is sectioned into four parts. The first section explores the historical backdrop of Sino-Nordic relations and provides a brief overview of the interplay between Chinese domestic developments and diplomacy. This is followed by a discussion in the second section of contemporary facets of relations, including economic ties, security concerns, and political considerations. The third section explores an ideological dimension of relations by examining the impact of Chinese political thought and rhetoric on Nordic politics and society. Finally, the report touches upon the Arctic as a unique intersection of Nordic and Chinese interests.
The authors would like to express their gratitude to the Konrad Adenauer
Stiftung, which has made this report possible through its generous support.
Shifting China-NATO Relations: From Selective Cooperation to Strategic Rivalry?
Introduction: On March 15, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg called on China to withdraw its support for Russia and to condemn its “brutal” invasion of Ukraine […]
Russian Federation and China: Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative
Abstract: This Issue Brief looks at six Sino-Russian projects that have been placed under the rubric of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Since, at the political level, China is […]
The Party-State Dichotomy: Convergence and Divergence in China’s Foreign Policy
Introduction: Xi Jinping has consolidated much of the power in the Chinese system, and his foreign policy is no different from other areas. On the contrary, President Xi has been […]
Reconciling Different Approaches to Conceptualizing the Glocalization of the Belt and Road Initiative Projects
Abstract: In response to the recently rising number of academic papers that empirically examine local variances in China’s Belt and Initiative (BRI) projects in various foreign lands, this paper points […]
The Geopolitical Aftershocks of the China-Solomon Islands Security Agreement
Introduction: Chinese President Xi Jinping, shortly after taking office, remarked in 2012 that “the vast Pacific Ocean has ample space for China and the United States.” The comment was made at a […]
South Korea’s Relations With China and the US Under President-elect Yoon
Introduction: The presidential election in South Korea was a close call. President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol from the People Power Party won the election with a margin of 0.8 percentage points over […]