The Chinese dream of a firm foothold in the Arctic runs across the border town in the northeast of Norway. A railway between Kirkenes and Rovaniemi in Finland will secure the mainland connection between the Arctic Ocean and the Chinese market. A deep-water port in Kirkenes can make it the first western port along the north-east passage. In sum, Kirkenes can become a hub of trade between east and west. As a result, their are many who dream of staggering sums filling the state treasury, or their own pocket – Chinese and Norwegians alike. Kirkenes, an economic center in the Arctic, where the inhabitants will bathe in money when the ice finally melted – or?
In the papers we can read that China is not like Western colonial powers, they do business with everyone. What is worse, they are open that it is for their own gain, not just providing a footnote on human rights in the oil and gas contracts as money is pulled out.
Should we fear a Chinese expansion or welcome it? Are we naive in meeting the world’s next superpower? China owns several large Norwegian industrial companies. Tourism from the east characterizes the picture of the north. Roads, bridges and telecommunications networks are built by Chinese contractors. China is the market leader in finance and technological innovation. Yes high tech payment options, but also monitoring, by people as well as by the state.
Trump threatens Chinese trading blockade and Xi Jinping prefers the Amazon boss, rather than president. In record speed, China is turning its world upside down, and their enticement is financial gains, technological advances and investments. To what extent should we be involved in the Chinese checkers?