China pursues Santa Claus tourism in Finland, gives pandas to Denmark, has signed a historic free trade agreement with Iceland, as well as presented Norway with a long-lasting diplomatic headache, while the Chinese are buying up Volvo and stuffing themselves with Swedish meatballs in IKEA stores. New and significant chain-reactions in international politics have been created by the new role of the People's Republic of China, so also in the Nordic countries in the last decades.
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden share a number of political, economic and cultural features. They also share common interests and similar challenges in relation to the growing superpower in the east. Thus, in all the Nordic countries, it has been discussed how to make the most of the opportunities that China's growth provides, and how to tackle colliding economic interests and undemocratic political values. The debate has varied in intensity and focus, but has been centered on the same issues. Nevertheless, so far there has been given surprisingly little attention on how one's Nordic neighbors have handled the challenges.
In this seminar, we look across fences. Prominent China experts from the various Nordic countries comment on their country's relationship with China, trends and challenges, and how this relates to the broader picture of Nordic–China relationships.