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Political Science Geopolitics

China's Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada

by (author) P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Adam Lajeunesse, Frederic Lasserre & James Manicom

University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2018
Geopolitics, Polar Regions, Diplomacy, Treaties, Asian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2018
    List Price

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China’s Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada is an in-depth studies of China’s increasing interest in the Arctic. It offers a holistic approach to understanding Chinese motivations and the potential impacts of greater Chinese presence in the circumpolar region, exploring resource development, shipping, scientific research, governance, and security.

Drawing on extensive research in Chinese government documentation, business and media reports, and current academic literature, this timely volume eschews the traditional assumption that Chinese actions are unified and monolithic in their approach to Arctic affairs. Instead, it offers a careful analysis of the different, and often competing, interests and priorities of Chinese government and industry.

Analyzing Chinese interests and activities from a Canadian perspective, the book provides an unparalleled point of reference to discuss the implications for the Canadian and broader circumpolar North.

About the authors


P. Whitney Lackenbauer is associate professor and chair of the Department of History at St. Jerome's University in the University of Waterloo, and a faculty associate with the LCMSDS.

Peter Kikkert recently completed his M.A. at the University of Waterloo and is a Ph.D. student in history at the University of Western Ontario.


P. Whitney Lackenbauer's profile page

Adam Lajeunesse is the Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Arctic Marine Security Policy at St. Francis Xavier University. He is a Research Associate at the Centre for Military, Strategic, and Security Studies and the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary, and a fellow with the Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Lajeunesse is a regular lecturer at the NATO Defence College (Rome) and the Canadian Forces College (Toronto), as well as a frequent speaker on northern security issues for academic, government, and military audiences. He is the author of Lock, Stock and Icebergs (UBC Press) - a history of Canada’s Arctic maritime sovereignty.

Adam Lajeunesse's profile page

Frédéric Lasserre is a professor of Geography at Laval University, Directeur du Centre Québécois d’Études géopolitiques and a research associate at Groupe d'études et de recherche sur l'Asie contemporaine.

Frederic Lasserre's profile page

James Manicom is a Research Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. He is the author of Bridging Troubled Waters: China, Japan and Maritime Order in the East China Sea (Georgetown University Press).

James Manicom's profile page

Editorial Reviews


Lackenbauer et al. effectively counter the most overheated rhetoric about China's Arctic interests?a solidly researched and through-provoking volume.


?John McCannon, Pacific Affairs




This book captures the multifaceted nature of the Arctic as scientific and security frontier and recognizes the complex dilemmas this region faces with sovereignty, security, and stewardship.


?Ellen A. Ahlness, American Review of Canadian Studies



A nuanced examination of the threats, and even potential benefits, that China’s Arctic interests could offer Canada . . . China’s Arctic Ambitions is able to elegantly strike a balance between being both highly informative and also enjoyable to read.

—Dean Coslovi, CDA Institute

China’s Arctic Ambitions should be a core textbook in any class which addresses Canada and the Arctic, including regional North American and North Pacific topics . . . well worth reading more than once, especially in light of current Canadian-Chinese relations.

—Ambjörn L. Adomeit, The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord

Other titles by P. Whitney Lackenbauer

People, Politics, and Purpose

Biography and Canadian Political History

edited by Greg Donaghy & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

The Joint Arctic Weather Stations

Science and Sovereignty in the High Arctic, 1946-1972

by (author) Daniel Heidt & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

Breaking Through

Understanding Sovereignty and Security in the Circumpolar Arctic

edited by Wilfrid Greaves & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

Reconsidering Confederation

Canada’s Founding Debates, 1864-1999

edited by Daniel Heidt
contributions by J.R. Miller, Marcel Martel, Colin Coates, Martin Pâquet, Maxime Gohier, Phillip Buckner, Robert Wardhaugh, Barry Ferguson, Patricia Roy, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Ken S. Coates, Bill Waiser, Raymond B. Blake & Andre Legare

Roots of Entanglement

Essays in the History of Native-Newcomer Relations

by (author) Myra Rutherdale, Kerry Abel & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

Ice Blink

Navigating Northern Environmental History

edited by Stephen Bocking & Brad Martin
contributions by Tina Adcock, Emelie Cameron, Hans M. Carlson, Marionne Cronin, Matthew Farish, Arn Keeling, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Tina Loo, Paul Nadasdy, Jonathan Peyton, Liza Piper, John Sandlos & Andrew Stuhl

A Historical and Legal Study of Sovereignty in the Canadian North

Terrestrial Sovereignty, 1870-1939

by (author) Gordon W. Smith
edited by P. Whitney Lackenbauer
foreword by Tom and Nell Smith

Blockades or Breakthroughs?

Aboriginal Peoples Confront the Canadian State

edited by Yale D. Belanger & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

The Dundurn Arctic Culture and Sovereignty Library

Pike's Portage/Death Wins in the Arctic/Arctic Naturalist/Arctic Obsession/Arctic Twilight/Arctic Front/Canoeing North Into the Unknown/Arctic Revolution/In the Shadow of the Pole/Voices From the Odeyak

by (author) Michael Posluns, Bruce W. Hodgins, S.L. Osborne, Kerry Karram, Ken S. Coates, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, William R. Morrion, Greg Poelzer, Anthony Dalton, Alexis S. Troubetzkoy, John David Hamilton & Claudia Coutu Radmore
edited by Morten Asfeldt & Bob Henderson
foreword by Pete Seeger

The Canadian Rangers

A Living History

by (author) P. Whitney Lackenbauer

Other titles by Adam Lajeunesse

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Other titles by James Manicom