China Seeks More Influence in Arctic

China will set up a joint Arctic research centre in Shanghai with Danish, Icelandic and Norwegian institutions, building on improving diplomatic ties with Nordic countries, as it bids to raise its stake in the faraway but resource-rich region, reports the South China Morning Post.

The launch of the China-Nordic Arctic Research Centre may signal new intentions in Beijing's foreign policy, analysts say. Beijing has yet to articulate an official Arctic strategy, but it has become firmer in its polar ambitions.

The Shanghai-based Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC), which is behind the collaborative China-Nordic research centre and will fund it, was reluctant to comment on the centre's missions, saying planning was still in the initial stage.

Mainland analysts have referred to China, a country roughly 1,450 kilometres from the Arctic Circle at its nearest point, as near Arctic and a stakeholder, apparently indicating Beijing believes it has a natural role to play in the Arctic, adds the South China Morning Post.

The move comes only weeks after China became one of six new countries granted permanent observer status at the Arctic Council.

Source: South China Morning Post
 

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