NUPI Policy Brief

China’s Political Priorities in the Nordic Countries: from technology to core interests

Published: 26 Apr 2016
Summary:

Chinese policymakers have identified a number of priorities that motivate them to observe and interact with the Nordic countries. While one can assume that the Nordic countries appear far from frequently on China’s foreign policy agenda, they have unique competences and are open to increased engagement with China. Moreover, they are perceived as being easy to deal with and have become important partners in Beijing’s effort to forge closer ties with governments across the globe. This Policy Brief is based on the author’s report, China’s political priorities in the Nordic countries, published by FOI in 2014. The report focuses on China’s political priorities in the five Nordic countries during 2007-2013. It is based on an analysis of official statements, academic papers and reports from think-tanks, as well as interviews conducted with Chinese diplomats and Nordic officials and scholars in the Nordic capitals during the autumn of 2013. The author draws the conclusion that China’s overarching Nordicwide priorities include four main areas: to utilise the Nordic region as a sounding board and door opener; to acquire technology and know-how; to promote China’s core interests; and to improve perceptions of China.