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China seeks pragmatic cooperation with Arctic countries

Updated: Nov 2,2014 9:52 AM     Xinhua

REYKJAVIK -- China is still exploring the best ways and areas to participate and play a constructive role in Arctic affairs, said a Chinese official in Reykjavik on Nov 1.

Addressing a report session of the current Arctic Circle Assembly, Jia Guide, Deputy Director General of Department of Treaty and Law of the Foreign Ministry, said China’s engagement in the Arctic is still in its early stage, and it is still exploring the best ways and areas to participate and play a constructive role in Arctic affairs.

Describing it as an ice-breaking journey, Jia said that China is ready to have pragmatic cooperation with Arctic countries.

Referring to China-Nordic Arctic cooperation, Jia said China’s engagement in the Arctic is closely related to those of the Nordic countries.

In recent years, China-Nordic Arctic cooperation has advanced in a multi-level and wide-ranging manner, he said.

China has close communication and coordination with Nordic countries in the Arctic Council in terms of political cooperation, he said, noting frequent interactions and close cooperation between the research institutes and experts of both sides have brought forth a number of important achievements in terms of scientific cooperation.

Recently, he said, China-Nordic Arctic cooperation is increasingly expanding from research areas to shipbuilding, shipping and resource development.

As a near Arctic state, he said China is affected in a major way by the natural changes, economic developments and social changes in the Arctic, as reflected in China’s climate, ecological environment, agricultural production as well as social and economic development. Therefore, China has growing interest in Arctic affairs in recent years.

“With the accelerated melting of ice and snow in the Arctic,” he said, China begins to pay attention to the potential profound impact that may be brought by opening Arctic shipping lanes and developing the Arctic.

China is ready to further strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation with all Arctic countries in relevant fields, and contribute to tackling the trans-regional challenge in the Arctic and promoting sustainable development of the Arctic.

China-Nordic Arctic cooperation is part of this exploration and an example, he said, when the cooperation deepens with time, fact will speak for itself that, in Arctic, “we come in peace, we come with goodwill, and we come for cooperation.”