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Norway freezes out China from Arctic

Norway is permanent member of the Arctic Council.

Beijing’s “not-talking” relation with Oslo following the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize could block for observation status to the Arctic Council.

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The newspaper Aftenposten reports about Norway’s resistance to China’s possible observation status to the Arctic Council. The newspaper refers to a highly placed source in the diplomatic corps.

As previously reported by BarentsObserver, China wants the Norwegian government to apologize for awarding Chinese dissident Liu Ziaobo with the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Peace Prize committee and its decisions is independent from the Norwegian government, therefore no apology.

China wants to play a role in the Arctic for several reasons; like research, resources and new global shipping lanes.

Read alsoChinese interest towards Northern Sea Route

Beijing has been knocking on the Arctic door for many years and has said it want a seat as observer to the Arctic Council where Norway is one of eight permanent members. All decisions in the Arctic Council must be made monotonous, so Norway’s resistance towards Chinese observation status means that the Arctic door is closed for Beijing. 

Read alsoArctic challenge for Arctic Council

In 2010, Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a speech at the China Institute of International Studies Forum in Beijing that “China can make a valuable contribution in the Arctic Region.” Støre has earlier said China should be welcomed as observer to the Arctic Council as previously reported on BarentsObserver.