China’s Political Priorities in the Nordic Countries

Authors:

  • Jerker Hellström

Publish date: 2014-06-04

Report number: FOI-R--3879--SE

Pages: 76

Written in: English

Keywords:

  • The Nordic region
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • China
  • foreign policy
  • international relations
  • core interests

Abstract

Chinese policymakers have identified a number of priorities that motivate them to observe and interact with the Nordic countries. These five countries - Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland - 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 study offers a snapshot of China's priorities with the Nordic countries during the Hu Jintao/Wen Jiabao administration's second term and the first year of the Xi Jinping/Li Keqiang administration. It is an analysis of information gathered from interviews conducted in Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Reykjavik during the autumn of 2013. The study finds that China's priorities are closely linked to its ambition to achieve long-term sustainable economic growth in order to safeguard domestic political stability - i.e. the Chinese Communist Party's continued monopoly on power.

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