The US administration will always play the “China card” in shaping foreign policy, this is unavoidable. Whether this card can be played wisely in the Arctic region depends on whether the two states view each other’s roles in a rational way. China’s emergence as an Arctic player takes place at a time of rising tensions with the US over a variety of uncertain factors, including, for example, China’s emergence as a global naval power, and a
deepening Sino-Russian partnership on some cooperative projects in the Arctic.
For US policymakers, a general question is how to integrate China’s activities in the Arctic into the overall equation of US-China relations. China, while expecting the Arctic states to respect its interests in shipping, energy and polar research, should work hard to ease the suspicions by emphasising the four principles stated in its 2018 Arctic policy white paper, “respect, cooperation, win-win result and sustainability”.