Matti Puranen, Sanna Kopra
Only a short time ago, considerable enthusiasm existed in Finland regarding Beijing’s efforts to forge an “Arctic corridor” of railroads and undersea tunnels, satellite ground stations, an airport for scientific expeditions, and massive biorefineries. In this, Finland was not alone but represented only a small branch of China’s comprehensive thrust to permanently establish a presence above the Arctic Circle. Yet, with the recently emerging geopolitical turbulence, China’s Arctic expansion is facing a standstill, even in Finland, which long seemed like its most viable partner in the region. By applying for NATO membership along with Sweden, Finland is turning westward, practically closing the gates on China’s Arctic expansion beyond Russia. Its story serves as an interesting microcosm on the rise and demise of China’s Arctic policy.