The 40th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting began in Beijing on May 22. Over 400 delegates from 42 countries are participating in the annual meeting focusing on climate change, and the Antarctic’s special protection and management. It is the first time that China is hosting the event.
China’s Antarctic research and strategy have progressed in leaps and bounds through the decades. In 1984, China’s first Antarctic expedition team was established. 33 years on, China’s first “Snow Eagle 601” plane landed successfully in the Antarctic in January this year, opening up a new chapter of China’s Antarctic expeditions. At this point in time, China has a complete scientific expedition system in place, which comprises scientific research teams.
“We have signed bilateral agreements or memos on Antarctic cooperation with the US, Australia, New Zealand and other countries at present,” said Qin Weijia, director of China’s Polar Investigation of State Oceanic Administration (SOA). He emphasized that China is always implementing the requirements of the “Antarctic Treaty on Environmental Protection” and other relevant international conventions, trying best to protect the Antarctic. In the future, China plans to speed up the establishment of an observation network, which could cover the global oceanic system, said Qin.
It is also reported that China’s fifth research station in the Antarctic is in the process of being set up.
“China will promote to build an international cooperation platform and deepen the polar expedition,” said Wang Hong, Administrator of SOA.