'The interest for more joint activity has been substantial from China’s side, while Nordic politicians remain more cautious,' says NUPI senior researcher Hans Jørgen Gåsemyr, who has authored the chapter on the Norwegian perspectives regarding Nordic-China cooperation in a new report on Sino-Nordic cooperation.

The comprehensive report, coordinated by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies in Copenhagen, covers a range of issues, and include examples of Nordic relations to China evolving smoothly as well as cases presenting considerable challenges.

Increasing and evolving cooperation

An important conclusion is that Nordic-China cooperation has increased and is evolving, but that there is little coordination across the different sectors and initiatives.

Considerable differences in political values between China and the Nordic countries, especially in regards to individual political and civil rights, as well as the sharpened conflicts between China and USA, limit the evolution of more dynamic cooperation. This touch upon political and as well as economic relations, including activity in the Arctic.

Academia and business as promising areas for cooperation

With basis in the overall Norway-China relations, Gåsemyr points to areas where joint Nordic-China activity is actually already quite dynamic, and where many Norwegian actors welcome more cooperation. Academic and business promotion activities seem especially promising.

'Still, I am quite clear on the limitations too, not least in the political arena, where there is no interest in replacing activities that are currently based on national or bilateral institutions with something jointly Nordic,' he concludes.

The complete report, including the Norway chapter, can be found here.