Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang addresses the opening ceremony of the 4th International Arctic Forum (IAF) in Arkhangelsk, Russia on March 29, 2017. (Xinhua/Lu Jinbo)
ARKHANGELSK, Russia, March 30 (Xinhua) -- China is willing and able to play a bigger role in Arctic development and cooperation, said Vice Premier Wang Yang during the 4th International Arctic Forum (IAF) that ended here Thursday.
China is an important stakeholder in Arctic affairs and it has been participating in these affairs for a long time in accordance with the law, said Wang, adding that China upholds the spirit of respect, cooperation and sustainability.
At the two-day event, Wang called on the international community to strengthen environmental protection in the Arctic and continuously deepen scientific exploration about the North Pole.
The vice premier also urged relevant countries to exploit Arctic resources in a lawful and proper manner, improve Arctic governance, and jointly preserve peace and stability in the region.
China is ready to share insights with other countries and expand cooperation to create a bright, new future for the Arctic region, Wang added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Icelandic President Gudni Johannesson attended and addressed the plenary session of the IAF on Thursday.
The IAF, held in Russia's far northwestern city of Arkhangelsk, gathered more than 2,000 government officials, business leaders and senior experts from nearly 30 countries, including the United States, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland.
On Wednesday, Wang and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin co-chaired a session of the committee for the regular meeting of Chinese and Russian heads of government.
Both sides spoke highly of the outcome of the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia.
Wang and Rogozin shared views on strengthening pragmatic cooperation on the Arctic, nuclear power, agriculture, civil aviation and other areas.