Promises of Hope or Threats of Domination: Chinese mining in Greenland

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Chinese investment plans in Greenland have been viewed by various Greenlandic governments with high hopes while their Danish counterparts have been much more reluctant and fearful of what some sort of orchestrated Chinese intervention would mean for the autonomous and supposedly less experienced part of the Danish Kingdom. Despite expectations, actual Chinese actions have not materialized in any of the ways that Greenland and Denmark have hoped or feared which could suggest that China’s interest in Greenland was not as once thought. This article discusses the strategic implications of mining in Greenland, questioning the assumed coherence of Chinese interests and also examining both Greenland’s and Denmark’s role in staging strategic narratives. The article argues that while it is possible to identify Chinese state actors that believe Greenland should be highly prioritized, their approach so far has been very fragmented. In fact, the idea of a co-ordinated Chinese approach appears to have mainly been created in the contestation between Greenlandic hopes and Danish fears.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Extractive Industries and Society
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)122-130
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Event4th China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium: The Sustainable Arctic - Opportunities and Challenges of Globalization - University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
Duration: 6 Jun 20169 Jun 2016
Conference number: 4


Conference4th China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium
LocationUniversity of Lapland
Internet address


  • China
  • Denmark
  • Greenland
  • Natural resources
  • Mining

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