Jesper Zeuthen

Western governments frequently perceive Chinese investors in natural resources as driven by strategic state interests to a much larger extent than investors from Western countries, who supposedly operate according to market economic norms without states pulling them in particular directions. This article studies a potential Chinese investment in mining minerals which are strategically important to China in a region that is widely argued to be of strategic importance to China. By making a content analysis of Chinese language articles on mining, and through interviews with some of those involved in organizing Chinese investment in the rare earth elements (REE) and uranium mining project at Kvanefjeld near Narsaq, Southern Greenland, the article studies how country specific Chinese priorities and a sector specific political economy affect a Chinese enterprise investing in the Kvanefjeld project. The article seeks to 1) add substance to the many speculations on Chinese intentions in Greenland that have dominated discussion in the Danish media, and to some extent also politics and academia, and to 2) add understanding to how state and market interact in Chinese REE mining projects overseas. The article shows that while much Chinese state attention is clearly directed towards the supposedly strategically important investments in Greenland, and state incentives play a large role, the amount of coordination and strategic focus is very limited.

Full Article

Designed & hosted by Arctic Portal