Chinese visitors at the research village of Ny-Ålesund

Research director Kim Holmén was among those who received the Chinese delegation that recently visited the research village of Ny-Ålesund in Svalbard.

The delegation at the Zeppelin Station.

The delegation at the Zeppelin Station in Ny-Ålesund. Left to right, the Chinese Ambassador in Oslo Tang Guoqiang and his wife Wang Haihan, Kim Holmén, Minister of Land and Resources Xu Shaoshi, and Mr. Liu Cigui (SOA, State Oceanic Administration). The person on the far right is unknown. Photo: Max König / Norwegian Polar Institute

Last year, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) signed an agreement to collaborate on polar research. The Norwegian-Chinese collaboration on polar research includes cooperation to study glaciers and sea ice, and to facilitate research cruises in the Arctic.

“We are happy to see that China is becoming increasingly involved in Arctic issues and Arctic research. Like Norway, China has polar researchers of international status, so we are happy to see that the country is intensifying its Arctic research,” said Tora Aasland, the Norwegian Minister of Research and Higher Education, when the agreement was signed.

The Chinese delegates who visited Ny Ålesund this summer represented the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), an agency within the Chinese Department of Land and Resources, responsible for management of sea areas, exploitation areas and marine environmental protection, ensuring national maritime rights and interests in relation to laws and regulations, and for organising and carrying out research in marine science and technology.

“We had many positive discussions about research exchange and how we can work together to do research in Ny-Ålesund,” says Kim Holmén.

The cooperation agreement, which runs through 2015, obliges Norway and China to strengthen their communication about pertinent research topics and exchange information with each other. Among other things, the institutes will work together on comparative studies.