Preface and Acknowledgements

In: Chinese Policy and Presence in the Arctic
Timo Koivurova
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Sanna Kopra
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The Arctic region has globalized rapidly during the past decade. Many non-Arctic states, including the People’s Republic of China, have become increasingly interested in partaking in regional affairs and governance in the High North. Amongst Arctic states and stakeholders, this development has not only opened up new (economic) opportunities but has also raised concerns about China’s aims and motives in the Arctic.

In order to offer a balanced and multi-faceted picture of China’s Arctic activities, we, the editors, and Liisa Kauppila, Marc Lanteigne, Mingming Shi, Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek, Adam Stepien, Juha Käpylä, Harri Mikkola, Egill Þór Níelsson and Matti Nojonen compiled a report entitled “China in the Arctic; and the Opportunities and Challenges for Chinese-Finnish Arctic Co-operation” as a part of a broader advisory project called “Finland’s Arctic Council chairmanship in the times of increasing uncertainty”,1 funded by Finnish Government’s Analysis, Assessment and Research Activities unit (part of the government’s call for expertise in 2016). The report, published in February 2019, captured the attention of the media and the general public, not only in Finland but also at a global level, which indicates the public desire for knowledge of China’s policy and presence in the Arctic. This prompted us to develop our report into an edited volume – a choice that enables us to offer a more comprehensive account of China’s role in the Arctic. Most of the authors of the report stayed onboard and some new experts joined us during the writing process of this book. We wish to thank all these talented researchers, as this book would never have seen the light of the day without their valuable contributions. Our thanks also extend to Anna Riipinen, who assisted us in the editorial process. All remaining errors and/or omissions are naturally the sole responsibility of the chapter authors and/or us, the editors.

As this book grew out of a project funded by the Finnish Government’s Analysis, Assessment and Research Activities unit, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Finnish Prime Minister’s Office, not only for funding our work but also for permitting us to republish some parts of the above-mentioned report. In addition, Sanna Kopra wishes to thank the Academy of Finland (project no. 315402) for funding her research on China’s role in the Arctic.

Timo Koivurova and Sanna Kopra

Rovaniemi, Finland

February, 2020


See Finnish Government’s Analysis, Assessment and Research Activities website at, retrieved September 24, 2019.

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