US criticism over Arctic dismissed
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson yesterday refuted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s criticism over China’s participation in Arctic affairs, stressing that China would not be absent on trans-regional and global issues concerning the Arctic.
China can, and is ready to, play a constructive role on such issues, spokesman Geng Shuang told a press briefing, noting that the Arctic issues not only involve Arctic countries but also have global significance.
“China will not interfere in the affairs that purely belong to the Arctic countries,” said Geng. He stressed that China has always adhered to the principle of openness, cooperation and mutual benefits while taking part in Arctic affairs.
“On the Arctic issue, China has always stressed the importance of scientific research, advocate environmental conservation, reasonable utilization, law-based governance and international cooperation,” he said. “We are neither playing a geopolitical game nor making an exclusive small circle.”
Pompeo said China appeared to have national security aims in the Arctic, which had to be watched closely, as he arrived in Finland for a meeting of the Arctic Council.