Co-Progressiveness of Arctic Governance and the Initiative of Polar Silk Road: From the Perspective of Normative Development

Prof. Baozhi Cheng1

1Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, Shanghai, China

Last October, the Agreement on the regulation of the IUU fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean reached by the Arctic 5+5 regime, which is, to some extent, a kind of innovative paradigm for the normative generation of Arctic governance. Also in 2017, the Polar Code promulgated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation within the ambit of the Arctic Council both entered into force. Thus how the newly emergent arctic norms interact with the existing international regulations and domestic laws of the Arctic States is a key point for further research. In short, the coherent development of a normative system is vital for the performance of Arctic governance itself.

The concept of “Polar Silk Road” (PSR) advocated by China and Russia through developing the Arctic shipping routes since 2017 is still under its initial stages and arouses some anxiety in Western media. The benign interactions between PSR framework and the current Arctic regimes are essential for its future development. In this regard, the relevant Stake-holders such as the Nordic/European Countries and Eastern Asian Nations could play a constructive role as reliable channels and partners through equal consultation and concrete cooperation.


Dr. CHENG Baozhi is Senior Fellow with Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), one of the leading official think-tanks in China. His major study fields cover Arctic governance and international & European law. As a prominent Chinese scholar on polar policy and law, Dr. Cheng has been invited to present his views on Arctic governance and cooperation at international forums such as International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS), Arctic Shipping Forum, Arctic Circle Assembly, and SIPRI Symposium on China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation, etc.He has also published extensively on Arctic governance and China’s involvement in Chinese leading academic journals and newspapers.

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