China’s coercive diplomacy: Why it’s on the rise and what it means for Scandinavia

Policy Brief
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Asia  Norden  Diplomati
Written by

Andreas Bøje Forsby

Forsker, Utenrikspolitikk og Diplomati, DIIS


Amid a wider deterioration of relations between China and the West since around 2018, the Chinese government has stepped up its use of economic coercion and other types of non-military coercive measures, targeting Western countries that challenge its core interests. The observed change is distinctive in both quantitative and qualitative terms as the Chinese authorities have not only employed coercive measures more frequently, but also across a wider set of policy objectives than previously. Using a revised dataset, the Brief offers new insights into these development trends, demonstrating how they are driven primarily by perceived violations of China’s expanding development interests. The Brief discusses the findings in the specific context of the Scandinavian countries which have also found themselves on the receiving end of China’s coercive diplomacy.