China ready to enhance Arctic environmental cooperation: vice premier

China will actively participate in environmental preservation and push for environmental cooperation in the Arctic, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said here on Wednesday.

He made the remarks when addressing the opening ceremony of the 4th International Arctic Forum (IAF) in Russia's far northwestern city of Arkhangelsk.

Wang said that ecological protection should be strengthened and prioritized.

China will support the formation of advanced scientific research platforms to enhance Arctic scientific research capability, said the vice premier, urging the international community to deepen scientific exploration.

Calling for proper development and utilization of resources in the Arctic in line with law, Wang said the Chinese government encourages enterprises to take part in the construction of the Arctic shipping route and step up clean energy cooperation with Arctic countries.

The vice premier said Arctic governance should be improved, noting that China is willing to establish working mechanisms with Arctic and non-Arctic countries, and strengthen policy communications, and actively support the work of the Arctic Council.

China calls for joint efforts to maintain peace and stability in the Arctic, and this region should be utilized in a peaceful manner, he said.

Wang said disputes should be settled in accordance with the international law, adding that challenges, including navigation safety and environmental disasters, should be properly addressed through international cooperation.

Upholding the spirit of respect, cooperation and sustainability, China is a participant, builder and contributor in Arctic affairs, said Wang.

The two-day IAF, themed "Arctic: Territory of Dialogue," gathered about 2,300 participants from more than 30 countries this year, including senior government officials, organization leaders and experts.

Source: Xinhua