fredag 12. mars 2021

The Polar Policies in China’s New Five-Year Plan

The release this week by the Chinese government of its 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP), which will guide the country’s economic policies until 2025, was swiftly and predictably put under a microscope within the country, as well as by the international community. Included within the plan, and representing a significant shift from previous like policy documents, was a brief but telling statement confirming Beijing’s interest in further developing the Polar Silk Road as a component of the wider Belt and Road Initiative, while calling for further engagement with both the Arctic Ocean region and Antarctica.

The inclusion of polar regional policies within the new FYP represents a greater acknowledgement of the emerging importance of the two poles to China’s expanding foreign policies. This move also further confirms that economic considerations are now also taking up a larger role in Chinese polar engagement, (especially relating to the Arctic), alongside expressed interests in scientific diplomacy, including research on climate change.