Theme: Human Activity and Environmental Change

Took place in Shanghai, China 4-7 June 2013

The Inauguration of CNARC and Assembly of Member Institutes were both successful events, with the Inauguration attracting worldwide interest and the Assembly taking place in good cooperative spirit. The excellent start of CNARC leaves much room for optimism and there seems to be much will from all parties involved to create a fruitful platform for future China-Nordic Arctic cooperation.

Next steps that will follow in coming weeks include activating the two subcommittees’ on the Nordic Arctic Book Project and CNARC’s Fellow-, intern- and scholarship programs. The secretariat will provide support for the activities of these committees and RANNIS in regards to the 2nd China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium, as well as start working on a website for CNARC and other issues. The preparatory work has started but it is expected that things will start moving in January 2014 and that CNARC will become an active cooperation platform in early 2014.

Summary of minutes for the First Assembly of Member Institutes of CNARC

Session 1

1.1 Organization and operation of CNARC’s Assembly of Member Institutes &
1.2 Operation of CNARC’s Secretariat

The “Terms of Reference for the China-Nordic Arctic Research Center” were accepted by the Assembly and its
sub-document, the “Terms of Reference for the Assembly of Member Institutes and Secretariat”, was also accepted
after slight modifications clarifying the role of the Assembly, Director(s) and Secretariat.

For the position of Director and Vice Directors the following was proposed by Yang Huigen and passed by the
Assembly. CNARC shall have one Director and two Vice Directors:

  • Director of CNARC: Yang Huigen, Director of PRIC.
  • Vice Director of CNARC: Yang Jian, Vice President of SIIS.
  • Vice Director of CNARC: Zhang Xia, Head of the Division of Polar Strategic Studies at PRIC.

1.3 Research priorities of CNARC in 2014

Research themes of CNARC as defined in the Terms of Reference, may include:

  • Arctic climate change and its impacts
  • Arctic resources, shipping and economic cooperation
  • Arctic policy-making and legislation

It was suggested that the aforementioned topics could serve as general direction of CNARC’s research priorities and that they could be broadened on a case basis if needed. The research priorities cover both natural and social sciences and are open towards multidisciplinary research. The research priorities are likely to, but do not necessarily have to in all cases, reflect CNARC’s Fellowship projects and Symposia. It was decided by the Assembly that discussion on the research priorities should take place within a two to four year term and to leave the specifics of them out for now, while underlining the importance of defining these shortly. It was also agreed that further clarification on the term Nordic Arctic is needed; this should especially be taken to consideration by the editorial board of CNARC’s book project(s) on the Nordic Arctic.

Session 2

2.1 CNARC Publication project on the Nordic Arctic

It was decided that a book on the Nordic Arctic would be the first major undertaking of CNARC, with around 24 people/month allocated to the project. Two proposals for the project were put forward to the Assembly, (1) by Dr. Leiv Lunde, Director of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, and (2) by Dr. Lassi Heininen, Professor at the University of Lapland. Both proposals were well-received by their own merits but after a lengthy discussion the assembly decided that the project proposed by Dr. Leiv Lunde, “Understanding Nordic Arctic Interests and policies” would be more suitable for a wider audience and as a foundation for the CNARC cooperation. The assembly furthermore agreed to keep Dr. Lassi Heininen’s “Proposal for Draft Outline of the Publication “The Nordic Arctic”” as a potential second book project, with its more theoretical scope and in-depth academic research. The following candidate were proposed and accepted by the assembly for the editorial board of the frst book on the Nordic Arctic:

  • Leiv Lunde, Fridtjof Nansen Institute
  • Lassi Heininen, University of Lapland
  • Yang Huigen, PRIC
  • Yang Jian, SIIS

Dr. Yang Huigen will be the coordinator of the editorial board, structure the work hereof and take relevant initiatives. Mr. Egill Thor Nielsson shall be the Secretary for the editorial board.

2.2 Other projects for CNARC cooperation

It was agreed upon by the Assembly that the initial discussions on the content and structure of the book(s) would provide a base for the further work of the editorial board/committee. It was established that the final decisions regarding the publication project(s) shall be decided upon by the editorial board.

2.3 Fellowships and scholar/internships

The Assembly agreed that there was a need to establish a subcommittee to handle fellow- and scholarships. The nominations for this committee was made on considerations for equal representation between China and Nordic countries, as well as equal representation between academic fields i.e. social and natural sciences. The following were nominated and elected to the subcommittee for fellowships, scholar- and internships by unanimous vote:

  • Zhang Xia, PRIC
  • Guo Peiqing, OUC
  • Þorsteinn Gunnarsson, RANNIS
  • Representative from the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat

The subcommittee for fellowships, scholar- and internship will be responsible for call for applicants and the process in general. The Assembly accepted that fellowships and scholarships should be given out on competitive basis.

Session 3

3.1 The 2nd China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium

It was agreed that the next symposium is to be hosted by RANNIS in Akureyri (Iceland), approximately June 3rd - 5th 2014.

3.2 Next Assembly of CNARC's Member Institutes (and new members to CNARC)

The next assembly of CNARC's Member Institutes is to be held in conjunction with the 2nd China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium, most likely the day before the Symposium itself begins.

Tasks identified in need of being addressed at the next Assembly are the criteria for new Member Institutes. Until they have been established the Assembly adopted by consensus to limit the amount of Member Institutes for one or two years to let CNARC find its way before accepting more Member Institutes. These considerations were mainly aimed towards Nordic applicants, with the exception of potentially including a fully Danish Member Institute, as NIAS is more of a Nordic entity. Different criteria will be adopted for Chinese applicants and during the assembly an application from Shanghai Jia Tong University - Center for Polar and Deep Ocean Development (SJTU-PADOD Center) for Member Institute status of CNARC was accepted.

Speech by Deputy Director-General JIA Guide in the Inaugural Ceremony of CNARC

Shanghai, 10th December 2013

Deputy Director General Jia Guide

Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Morning.

First, a few words about where I am from. I am from the Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. Delegates here may or may not know that three years ago in China we established an inter-agency coordinating mechanism on Arctic affairs. The Foreign Ministry, together with State Oceanic Administration is heading this coordinating mechanism, with the office located in the Department of Treaty and Law.

Today I am honored, on behalf of the Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to extend our warmest congratulations on the inauguration of the China-Nordic Arctic Research Center (CNARC).

The idea of CNARC was initiated in the first Chinese-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium in June this year and received positive responses from Chinese and Nordic institutes. In less than 6 months, the idea has been well developed and turned into reality as we just witnessed the launch of CNARC. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the State Oceanic Administration, the Polar Research Institute of China and other member institutes of CNARC for your hard work and high efficiency.

The establishment of CNARC is a proof and symbol of good cooperation in Arctic affairs between China and Nordic countries. At multilateral level, China has become a formal observer to the Arctic Council since May this year with the support from all Arctic States, including and especially from the five Nordic countries. Nordic countries rendered strong support to China from an early stage, which we will firmly bear in our minds.

At bilateral level, China has held dialogues and exchanges with all Nordic countries. Sino-Nordic pragmatic cooperation on the Arctic has been in the forefront of Arctic cooperation. For instance, Chinese Government and Icelandic Government signed a Framework Agreement on Arctic Cooperation in April 2012 when Premier Wen Jiabao visited Iceland, which is the very first agreement on Arctic Cooperation between China and Arctic States. Finland and China held bilateral dialogue as well as a symposium on Arctic cooperation in 2011, which enhanced mutual understanding and pragmatic cooperation. Denmark has, for a number of times, introduced its Arctic Strategy in China and expressed its warm welcome to invest in Greenland, Denmark. Sweden had actively played its role as Chair State of the Arctic Council to facilitate the achievement of consensus of admitting observers such as China into the Council. Norway has been an active host of Arctic-related multilateral meetings, such as Arctic Frontier meeting and Arctic Summit. All in all, Sino-Nordic cooperation in various areas such as scientific research, environment protection, icebreaker design as well as economic development is all well under way.

I would also like to take this opportunity to briefly share with you China’s views on Arctic cooperation. First, we think that cooperation is the mainstream in Arctic affairs. There is a strong and practical need to strengthen Arctic cooperation, not only among Arctic states, but also among Arctic and non-Arctic states. As we say, some of the Arctic issues are trans-regional, such as climate change and Arctic shipping, which involve the common interests of all states. Addressing trans-regional issues through joint endeavors will enable Arctic and non-Arctic states to view these issues from a wider perspective as well as send a more comprehensive message to the international community.

Second, cooperation with Arctic states is indispensable for China’s Arctic activities. Arctic states play significant and unique roles in Arctic affairs with an early start and strong capability in Arctic research. I am glad to say that more and more countries gradually recognize China as an important stakeholder in Arctic affairs, which is marked by the acceptance of China as a formal observer to the Arctic Council. Here I would like to reiterate that China’s participation in Arctic affairs is based on the recognition of Arctic States’ sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the Arctic. We are both willing and able to deeply participate in Arctic affairs and make contributions to the peace, stability and sustainable development of the Arctic. I have lead bilateral dialogues and exchanges with a number of Arctic states in recent years and I see both political willingness and strong potential in Arctic cooperation between both sides. Cooperation with Arctic states will remain to be the center of China’s Arctic activities, both at multilateral and bilateral levels. From the perspective of the Chinese government, we would like to keep this momentum of cooperation and create platforms to enhance mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation.

Third, the areas of Arctic cooperation are continuously expanding, creating enormous potential. I personally participated in Senior Arctic Officials’ Meeting of the Arctic Council held in Whitehorse, Canada the past October. It is my observation, a purely personal observation that the highlights of the Arctic have undergone significant changes, which is reflected in two aspects. First, the shifting of priority work of the Arctic Council from traditional areas of scientific research and environment protection to emerging areas such as Arctic shipping and resources exploitation. These two areas have been identified as the priority work of the Council under the Chairmanship of Canada. Second, the preparatory work of creating an Arctic Economic Council (AEC, previously called "Circumpolar Business Forum") to get the business circle and industries closely involved in Arctic development. A specific task force has been set up under the framework of the Arctic Council to facilitate the creation of the AEC and four meetings have been held so far. It is noted that key issues such as the relationship between the AEC and the Arctic Council, membership of the AEC are still under discussion and different views have been expressed. We regard it beneficial to the AEC to keep its inclusiveness and openness with wide participation. Such a trend of prioritizing Arctic economic development will have significant influence on areas of Arctic cooperation.

Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen
The establishment of CNARC marks a new beginning. While we join here to celebrate this occasion, it also places on us a solemn responsibility to fulfill the purposes and objectives of CNARC, i.e., to increase awareness, understanding and knowledge of the Arctic and its global impacts, to promote cooperation for sustainable development of the Nordic Arctic and coherent development of China in a global context.

With members consisting of ten top and influential think-tanks in the field of Arctic research from China and Nordic countries, I have every confidence that CNARC will play a key role in deepening cooperation in Arctic research between China and Nordic countries. Such exchange and academic cooperation will eventually enhance wider pragmatic cooperation in various other areas.

Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen
As you embark on your important discussions (I understand that this afternoon participants will leave for Suzhou), I would like to wish you a fruitful and successful meeting of the first Assembly of Member Institutes of CNARC. In closing, I also wish our friends from abroad a pleasant stay in China.

Thank you!

Tuesday 4 June 2013

9:00-18:00  Registration

18:00-21:00  Welcome Reception by State Oceanic Administration 

Wednesday 5 June 2013

9:00-9:10  Opening By Yang Huigen

9:10-10:00 Invited Speeches

  • Zhang Zhanhai, Director of International Deparment, State Oceanic Administration (SOA)
  • Jónas Gunnar Allansson, Senior Arctic Official, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Wu Jun, Deputy Director, Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration (CAA)
  • Yang Huigen, Director, PRIC: Proposal to establish a China-Nordic Arctic Research Center (CNARC)

10:00-10:30  Group Photo & Coffee break

10:30-12:30  Invited Presentations - moderated by Hallgrímur Jónasson

  • Kim Holmén, International Director, Norwegian Polar Institute: Arctic Climate Change
  • Yao Tandong, Director, Institute of Tibetan Plateau: Tibetan Plateau and its Polar connection
  • Joey Fan, Maritime Business Development Director, Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Greater China: Arctic Shipping
  • Gao Jie, General Manager, China Travel Service Group (CTS): Arctic Tourism

12:30-13:30  Lunch

13:30-15:00 Session I(1) moderated by Per Högselius (Sweden)

  • 14:45-15:00  Q&A and panel discussion
  • 15:00-15:30  Coffee break

15:30-17:00  Session I (2) moderated by Halldór Jóhannsson (Iceland)

  • 16:45-17:00  Q&A and panel discussion

18:00-19:30  Dinner by PRIC

Thursday 6 June 2013

8:30-10:30 Session II (1) moderated by Xu Shijie (PRIC)

  • 10:15-10:30  Q&A and panel discussion

10:30-10:45  Coffee break

10:45-12:30  Session II (2) moderated by Uffe Jakobsen (Denmark)

  • 12:15-12:30  Q&A and panel discussion

12:30-13:30  Lunch

13:30-14:45 Session III (1) moderated by Paula Kankaanpaa (Finland)

  • 14:30-14:45  Q&A and panel discussion

14:45-15:00  Coffee break

15:00-16:30  Session III (2) moderated by Christine Daae Olseng (Norway)

  • 16:15-16:30 Q&A and panel discussion

16:30-16:35 Closing remarks by chair

16:45-18:15  Round-table meeting

19:30-21:00  Dinner

Friday 7 June 2013

8:30-17:00 departure

5 June 2013 Session I (1)

Zhang Xia from PRIC - A Study on Scale and Scope of Maritime Cargoes through the Arctic Passages

Pierre Pochard from DNV - Ice class vessels - Proposal for market analysis

Shufeng He from Shanghai Ocean University - Structure of World Economy and Trade and Strategic Value of Arctic Sea Route

Þórður Víkingur Friðgeirsson from Reykjavík University - An open source decision model for scenario planning for the Arctic region

Jiayu Bai from Ocean University of China - The Development of Arctic Shipping Legal Regulation and China´s Voice

5 June 2013 Session 1 (2)

Uffe Jakobsen from University of Copenhagen - Climate change, new shipping routes and governance in the Arctic

Chuanxing Wang from Tongji University - China´s Shipping Security in the Context of Arctic Environment Change: An Analysis from the Geopolitical Perspective

Per Högselius from Royal Institute of Technology, KTH - Under the Ice: The quest for the Arctic´s energy resources, 1870-2013

Yue Zhaoi from Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences - Development of the Arctic with the Drive of Resources Exploration and the Arctic Shipping

Anna Karlsdóttir from University of Iceland - Tourism, regional diversification and managerial adaptation to climate change

6 June 2013 Session II (1)

Lassi Heininen from University of Lapland - New Arctic Geopolitics – toward more global cooperation, or back to national approach?

Zhang Pei from SIIS - The cooperation between China and Nordic Countries in the Arctic Governance

Valur Ingimundarson from University of Iceland - The Arctic Council as a Half-Way House: The Tension between Regionalism and Intergovernmentalism in Arctic Governance

Li Weifang from East China University of Political Science and Law - The Analysis of the Relationship between Major East Asian Countries and the Arctic Council

Natalia Loukacheva from University of Akureyri - Arctic Governance and Polar Law

Jun-Yuan Lu from Suzhou University - The Arctic Region and China’s Interests

Bjarni Már Magnússon from Reykjavík University - United States entitlement to the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in the Arctic after the Judgement of the International Court of Justice in the Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Colombia

6 June 2013 Session II (2)

Liping Xia from Tongji University - Arctic Governance and China

Aki Tonami from NIAS - An "Asian" Arctic Policy? A Comparison between China and Japan

Kai Sun from Ocean University of China - Discourses of China in the Arctic: Threat or Opportunity for the Arctic Countries

Baozhi Cheng from SIIS - On the features of EU's Arctic Policy and Sino-EU Cooperation on Arctic Affairs

Njord Wegge from FNI - China and the Law of the Sea - implications for Arctic Governance

Long Zhao from SIIS - The Model selection of Arctic governance

6 June 2013 Session III (1)

Shijie Xu from CAA - Cooperation and development - China way forward to Arctic

Christine Daae Olseng from Research Council of Norway - Norwegian Research Policy and Coordination Initiatives in Svalbard; SIOS, SSF and Norwegian-Chinese Cooperation

Min Pan from Tongji University - On the Indigenous People in Arctic and Arctic Governance

Anders Oskal from International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry - Arctic Indigenous Peoples and Globalisation: Arctic Governance Beyond Climate Change

6 June 2013 Session III (2)

Embla Eir Oddsdóttir from Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network - A study of perception, identity and translation in the context of research cooperation on impacts of climate change

Xueming Wu from Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences - Constructing an Evaluation Index System of the Global Governance on the Arctic Issues

Iselin Stensdal from FNI - Asian climate change research in the Arctic: trends and developments

Lionel Camus from Akvaplan-niva - Fate, Effect, and Risk Modelling of accidental oil spill in sea ice ecosystem: the FEAR ice project of the Fram Centre

Steingrímur Jónsson from University of Akureyri - Climatic oceanographic signals propagating between the Arctic and the Atlantic via the ocean around Iceland; opportunities for research cooperation

Roundtable theme: Establishing CNARC - The first CNARC Roundtable reached a consensus on establishing the China-Nordic Arctic Research Center between Chinese and Nordic partners, with Russian input on the cooperation. 

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Yang Huigen presenting at the Inauguration of CNARC

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Yang Huigen presenting at the Inauguration of CNARC

Download Conference documents here