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Ten research institutions from China and the Nordic nations of Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden signed an agreement to boost mutual cooperation in Arctic research.
The centre is an expansion of a previous cooperation agreement between China and Iceland.
China will act as a serious player and peaceful power as the new observer at the Arctic Council, Chinese Ambassador to Finland Huang Xing had said in May.
The joint platform of China and the five Nordic countries will help boost studies and understanding of global and regional issues relating to the Arctic Pole, targeting its sustainable development, said Yang Huigen, director of the Polar Research Institute of China.
The US geological Survey in 2008 said the Arctic Circle has an estimated 90 billion barrels of recoverable oil, 1,670 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of recoverable natural gas liquids.
The new China research centre will also focus on international cooperation on climate change, resources, shipping, as well as policy and legislative issues in the Arctic.
Last year saw a record melting of summer sea ice in the Arctic which has led to a major push by oil and mining companies to drill in Arctic waters, and by Asian countries hoping to cut shipping routes.
“Especially in the transport sector,” he said, “I think in the future it will save time and energy which is very significant for the marine transport between Asia and Europe,” Chinese ambassador Xing had said earlier.
China, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore were granted new observer status status at the Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council convened in Kiruna, the northernmost city of Sweden.
With inputs from Agencies