Discourse analysis of China’s sub-regional engagement in the Arctic: Turning to the perspective of desecuritization

Theme 5. Other
Session Name 5.14 Science diplomacy dialogue: Building common interests in the Arctic
Presentation Type Oral
Author(s) Weipeng Zhang (Zhejiag University, China)
Abstract text

Desecuritization is not only the countermove of securitization to move the issues out of the realm of security, but also a “speech act” to pursue the normative power and offer the feasibility and legitimacy of sub-regional engagement with flexibility and rigidity of diplomatic discourse. Changing climate in the Arctic affects weather patterns in all states and China has expressed a willingness to begin to relate to the Arctic in a more coordinated and structured manner to finish the target of engagement in the Arctic governance with enough legitimacy. The aim of this article is to focus on interpreting desecuritization grounding discourse analysis in the context of China’s increasing maritime activity in the Arctic region and explore how China carries out its discursive strategy to legitimate its sub-regional engagement according to the White Paper of China’s Arctic Policy. China’s interests in the Arctic relate to scientific research, particularly climate change, shipping and resource exploitation, rather than sovereign rights. The promotion of partnership diplomacy, political willingness and the coordinated function of regional international organizations may be the ways to balance the interests and increasing activities with the vulnerable Arctic environment. Although its status of “Near-Arctic State” doubted by Arctic states, China is an important stakeholder and its functions and contributions in the future cooperation framework of Arctic security governance should not be neglected and doubted.

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