hina’s State Council issued the first white paper on its Arctic policy on January 26, indicating that China will be neither “offside” nor “absent” in Arctic-related affairs and issues.
According to Kong Xuanyou, China’s vice-foreign minister, China, as a non-Arctic State, will not get involved in any internal affairs in an Arctic State or between Arctic nations. While, as one of the continental nations closest to the Arctic Circle, China “enjoys the freedoms or rights” of scientific research, navigation, overflight, fishing, laying of submarine cables and pipelines, and resource exploration based on international laws and regulations.
“Some people harbor doubts over China’s Arctic explorations, and worry that we will plunder resources and damage the environment. Those worries are absolutely unnecessary, since the Arctic States have a sound legal system for environmental protection and resource utilization, and China will comply with all those regulations and norms,” Kong claimed at the press conference for the release of the white paper.
Kong said that the white paper will serve as vital policy guidance for China to participate in Arctic-related affairs in the future, and China hopes it will help China and other stakeholders to jointly promote the peaceful and sustainable development of the Arctic.