Kong Soon Lim

On 26 January 2018, China released the much-anticipated White Paper that sets out its policies and position on the Arctic. China understands the economic opportunities and the territorial challenges in the region as it seeks a greater role in Arctic development. The White Paper outlines China’s ambitious plan to develop a Polar Silk Road across the Arctic. It also summaries China’s policy goals and the principles guiding its conduct. As a non-Arctic state with no territorial sovereignty in the region, China’s ambition would be dependent on its cooperation and the alignment of its interest with Arctic states. In considering China’s Arctic policy, this paper considers three pertinent questions: (1) what are China’s key interests in the Arctic, (2) what are the aims and basis of China’s Arctic policy as outlined in the White Paper and (3) how does China’s Arctic policy complement with its Polar Silk Road vision as an extension of its Belt and Road Initiative.

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