BEIJING — China will hold the 40th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and 20th Committee for Environmental Protection meetings from May 22 to June 1, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on May 18.
Hua made the announcement at a daily press briefing, saying that Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli will attend the opening ceremony and deliver a speech.
The ATCM is an annual decision-making mechanism established under the Antarctic Treaty. China acceded to the Antarctic Treaty in 1983 and became a consultative member two years later.
“This is the first time for China to hold the consultative meeting,” said Hua. Some 400 delegates from 42 countries and 10 international organizations have already signed up for the meetings.
State Councilor Yang Jiechi will hold a welcome banquet and give a speech, said Hua.
The main focuses of the meetings will include the operation of the Antarctic Treaty system, climate change, tourism and Antarctic’s special protection and management regions.
“We will issue a press communiqué as the host country to present main achievements of the meetings,” said Hua.
“We will also hold a special meeting, issue ‘China’s Antarctic Undertaking’ and sign MOUs with the United States, Russia and Germany,” said Hua.