China and the 21st Century Arctic: Opportunities and Limitations


  • Zachary Lavengood



China, Artic, Shipping, Energy, Polar Silk Road


In 2018 The People’s Republic of China (PRC) released its Arctic policy and articulated its position, principles, and goals as a “near-Arctic state.”  In the years since, China has become a central focus of the growing academic and professional discourse surrounding the emerging Arctic and has positioned itself as a consequential actor in regional affairs. This article examines the opportunities and limitations for China in the High North by focusing on its four key drivers for Arctic engagement: resource extraction, international shipping, scientific pursuits, and international prestige. This article finds that while China’s involvement in Arctic affairs is growing, there are still significant roadblocks to its ambitions which it will need to overcome in order to reach its goal of being recognized as an Arctic power.

Author Biography

Zachary Lavengood

Zachary Lavengood is an Area Studies PhD candidate at Charles University’s Institute of International Studies where he is completing his thesis Arctic Partnerships: Geopolitics of the Forming Power Blocs in the Far North. His research focuses on Arctic and Eurasian geopolitics, world-systems analysis, and scenario building/foresight analysis.


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How to Cite

Lavengood, Z. (2022). China and the 21st Century Arctic: Opportunities and Limitations. American Studies in Scandinavia, 54(2), 88–111.