Olga Alexeeva and Frédéric Lasserre
Much attention has been paid to China's Arctic ambitions as of late, with many commentators warning of a forthcoming aggressive pursuit of control over Arctic resources and shipping lanes. This article reviews China's longstanding scientific, and growing economic and political, interests in the region and concludes that China has far more to gain by cooperating with Arctic neighbors and buying energy from Arctic EEZ-based projects, than by pursuing an aggressive and confrontational exploration strategy, which could be counterproductive for China's own position regarding disputes in the South China Sea. China has been pursuing cooperative and collaborative relations in the region, and is likely to do so in the future, not least because it is in its strategic and economic interest to do so.
Olga Alexeeva is a Member of the Raoul Dandurand Chair of Strategic and Diplomatic Studies and Frédéric Lasserre is a Professor at the Université du Quebec à Montréal.