Finlandization and the peaceful development of China

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The rise of China has sparked new type of geopolitical considerations and a debate in East Asian security studies. The neighboring countries of China can soon find themselves in a similar geopolitical situation as Finland found itself after the Second World War: there was a great power in the vicinity and the balancing force of this giant was far away. Since we do not have empirical experience of East Asia's future, we will have to use empirical cases that seem similar to the one East Asia is heading at. Finland's experience is one of such cases and it is a case that has been well theorized to allow distilling of lessons from this case to cases that might be similar from the point of view of power politics.
This article will use the Finnish experience as a tool for the analysis of the possible futures of the emerging political asymmetry in East Asia. This will be done by analytically and conceptually investigating the dimensions of asymmetry identified in the relationship between Finland and the Soviet Union, by empirically seeking lessons from the Finnish experience and by comparatively applying the lessons to the East Asian context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-166
JournalChinese Journal of International Politics
Issue number2
Early online date5 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2015


  • China's Rise
  • Finlandization
  • geopolitical realism
  • alliance
  • neutrality


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