The China-Greenland Connection

Port of Nuuk, Greenland (Photo by Marc Lanteigne).

As the parliamentary elections in Greenland get underway, with the vote confirmed for 24 April, domestic issues have continued to dominate the campaigns thus far. However, the election has also demonstrated that Greenland has begun to develop a foreign policy which sometimes moves away from that of Denmark. As a new article, written by the editor and Mingming Shi for the Asia news service The Diplomat, argues, China has increased its diplomatic visibility in Greenland at the same time as the island has taken on a greater role in Beijing’s evolving Arctic policies, especially since the Arctic Ocean was officially added to the Belt and Road (yidai yilu 一带一路 ) trade initiative last year.

This article looks at growing economic relationship between Beijing and Nuuk, most visibly in the area of resource extraction, but also in other emerging areas including infrastructure and potentially tourism. As the relationship between Greenland and Denmark becomes more complex as foreign interests in the former grow, how will China factor into Greenland’s future economic interests, as well as the omnipresent issue of potential Greenlandic independence?

‘The (Many) Roles of Greenland in China’s Developing Arctic Policy,’ by Mingming Shi and Marc Lanteigne, The Diplomat, 30 March 2018, <>.