China boosts Arctic research

China plans to establish a China-Nordic Arctic Research Center in Shanghai in partnership with a number of research institutes in the Nordic countries.


The move comes after China was granted permanent observer status by the Arctic Council in May.

The Polar Research Institute of China plans to set up the China-Nordic Arctic Research Center in Shanghai “to increase awareness and knowledge of the Arctic and promote cooperation for sustainable development of the Nordic Arctic area”, China Daily reports.

The China-Nordic Arctic Research Center has been endorsed by the State Oceanic Administration, and will be funded by the Polar Research Institute of China. It will provide opportunities for Chinese and Nordic scholars to conduct Arctic research through fellowships and scholarships.

“The key of the program is to gather scholars and professionals, and find a research subject they and we are both interested in,” Yang Huigen, head of the Polar Research Institute of China told China Daily at the first symposium of China-Nordic Arctic cooperation in Shanghai on Wednesday.

Partners in the research will include the Iceland Center for Research, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Denmark-based Nordic Institute of Asian Studies.

Kim Holmen, international director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, said that Chinese scientists are welcome to join their global counterparts to study the Arctic and help tackle the problems the region faces. “Understanding the Arctic is incredibly difficult. We need all the talented people we can get to work with Arctic problems,” he said to to the paper.

In 2012 the icebreaker “Xue Long” (Snow Dragon) became the first Chinese polar expedition to sail all along the Northern Sea Route into the Barents Sea. Upon return the vessel sailed a straight line from Iceland to the Bering Straitvia the North Pole, the so-called “future central Arctic shipping route”.

In 2004, China set up its first and only Arctic scientific research base, Yellow River Station, on Svalbard.