ArcGov National

Work Package 3 – National governance

This WP examines China’s efforts to influence Norway on Arctic governance issues, especially on the Arctic regional level. The Norwegian Arctic region comprises the two northernmost mainland counties and Svalbard. We will describe and analyze the Chinese influence in this region, particularly business investments and engagement, research and education cooperation, and regional engagement with the Norwegian Arctic.

China has made several large- and small-scale investments in Norway. There is no complete overview, and it is difficult to estimate the exact scale of Chinese investments. Our analysis of investments will be made on a national scale, with special emphasis on investments made directly in the Arctic region. Have these Chinese investments specifically influenced Norwegian governance of Arctic issues? What effects can be traced? Some Chinese initiatives in Norway are coupled with using the Northern Sea Route and building on cooperation with Russia. Have these Chinese–Russian initiatives had any influence on Norway when it comes to Arctic governance mechanisms?

In research and education, Norway and China have long traditions of involvement, strengthened by two ministerial agreements in 2017 and 2018.  In its Arctic Policy, the Chinese government stresses the importance of understanding Arctic conditions; and China is actively involved in research on Svalbard.

Have these Chinese engagements with ministerial agreements and activities on Svalbard influenced Arctic issues and Norway-specific mechanisms?

Finally, we will study Sino–Norwegian diplomatic arrangements and bilateral agreements relevant to Arctic issues, in particular the cooperation agreement between Nordland County and Zhejiang Province. Can China’s Arctic engagement be linked to this regional form of collaboration? What is the effect of such cooperation on Arctic and/or Norwegian governance mechanisms?