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China and the Arctic: energy finance, history and regional governance

Hosted by LSE IDEAS and UiT

Online public event


Professor Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen

Professor Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen

Professor of Northern Studies, Barents Chair in Politics at UiT-The Arctic University of Norway

Professor Caroline Humphrey

Professor Caroline Humphrey

Professor Emerita and Director of Research, University of Cambridge

Professor Keun-Wook Paik

Professor Keun-Wook Paik

Independent Researcher and Consultant


Dr Timothy Reilly

Founder and Chairman of the Arctic Advisory Group


Dr Timothy Reilly

Professor Chris Alden

Director of LSE IDEAS

Attend the final China-Arctic panel from LSE IDEAS and UiT on the role of Chinese finance and energy investments and their implications for regional governance.

China’s rise and its geopolitical, economic and normative implications have increasingly been felt in the Arctic. Describing China as a “near-Arctic state”, Beijing has gradually levelled up the importance of the Arctic in its overall grand strategy. The event focuses on Chinese globalisation in the Arctic from the perspective of international political economy and norms. The event explores the role of transnational capital and financial markets in enabling or constraining China’s role in the Arctic, especially regarding energy and infrastructure financing. The effect of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Polar Silk Road are touched upon in this context to further investigate China’s normative and economic influence in the region, also pertaining to the oil and gas industries and Sino-Russian relations.

Meet the speakers and chair

Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen is Professor of Northern Studies and the inaugural Barents Chair in Politics at UiT-The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø). He is a Danish national, who grew up in Reykjavik and has a deep personal and professional commitment to the North Atlantic and Arctic. Rasmus studied in Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Geneva, Lausanne and Amsterdam. His PhD is from the University of Cambridge with a year at Sciences Po. Rasmus was postdoc at Harvard, United Nations University (Yokohama) and Aalborg University. His main research interest is transnational flows of knowledge, talent and resources between the West and East. Rasmus directs the workpackage developing European science diplomacy theory and strategy in H2020 InsSciDE. Rasmus is on sabbatical at Sorbonne University for 2020-21. He coordinates the Norwegian-Russian PhD course Society and Advanced Technology in the Arctic and the Norway-EU Science Diplomacy Network.

Caroline Humphrey is an anthropologist who has worked in Russia, Mongolia, China, India, Nepal, and Ukraine.  She has written on post-socialist economies; barter and marketplaces; the politics of memory; naming practices; ethics and conceptions of freedom. Recently she has completed an international research project on socio-economic interactions on the Russia–Mongolia–China border.  Recent publications: A Monastery in Time: The Making of Mongolian Buddhism, Chicago (2013); Trust and Mistrust in the Economies of the China-Russia Borderlands, Amsterdam University Press (2018); with Franck Billé On the Edge: Life Along the Russia-China Border, Harvard (2021).

Keun-Wook Paik is an independent researcher and consultant. Currently he is in the process of setting up the Sino-Russian EnergyForum. He has been affiliated with Chatham House during 1995-2020 as research fellow and senior research fellow, associate fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources Programme (EERP), Chatham House. His affiliation at OIES (Oxford Institute for Energy Studies) as a senior research fellow began in January 2007, and was closed in December 2019. Keun-Wook Paik is a recognised global authority on Sino-Russian Oil and Gas Cooperation affairs, and is author of Sino-Russian Oil and Gas Cooperation: The Reality and Implications (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Gas and Oil in Northeast Asia: Policies, Projects and Prospects (London: Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1995). He is co-editor of Handbook of Energy Politics (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2018). He was appointed as advisor to the Sino-Russian Oil and Gas Cooperation Committee, under China National Petroleum Corp in the late 1990s, and then appointed as advisor to the Chairman of Government, Sakha Republic, Russian Federation in early 2000s.

Timothy Reilly is the Founder and Chairman of the Arctic Advisory Group.

Chris Alden is Director of LSE IDEAS and Professor of International Relations at LSE.

The panel is part of the events series, China and the Arctic: Climate Change, Security and Governance, which assesses China’s environmental, geopolitical, and economic and normative influence in the Arctic to provide actionable advice for considered and holistic policy responses for regional stakeholders, the UK and their partners. The events series is a joint initiative of LSE IDEAS China Foresight and the Arctic University of Norway (UiT). Access the recording and podcast of the first event "China and the Arctic: Critical Minerals, Environmental Politics and Climate Change" by clicking here. The recording of the second panel "China and the Arctic: Great Power Competition, Security and Regional Responses" is available here.

Event hashtag: #LSEUiTChina

LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. We connect academic knowledge of diplomacy and strategy with the people who use it.


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