Chinese representative refutes unwarranted U.S. accusation on Arctic cooperation

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-07 22:27:15|Editor: mingmei
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ROVANIEMI, Finland, May 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. accusation regarding China's cooperation with Arctic nations is groundless and won't affect China's cooperation on Arctic issues, China's Special Representative for Arctic Affairs Gao Feng said here on Monday.

On the eve of the Arctic Council ministerial meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called China a threat for the Arctic region in a speech, which is unwarranted, unwise and will not bring about anything positive, Gao said.

"We will continue to work with our partners for the bilateral and multilateral interest, upgrade local well-being, and it will be the best answer to his (Pompeo's) remarks," said Gao.

The Arctic Council ministerial meeting is due to take place on Tuesday in Rovaniemi, northern Finland. Speaking at an event where the protection of a fragile environment, rather than security issues, is widely seen as the underlying objective, Pompeo said Washington is "fortifying America's security and diplomatic presence" in the Arctic.

Noting that "there are only Arctic states and non-Arctic states. No third category exists," Pompeo said China is not a "near-Arctic state." Furthermore, he warned nations against China's infrastructure projects and commercial investments in the region.

However, Pompeo's remarks were met with skepticism from the audience.

Speaking to reporters, Tuula Rintala-Gardin, director of international relations at the city of Rovaniemi, said foreign investment in the Arctic region has just started.

"For example, here in Finland, we need the Finnish government to invest, but we welcome investment from other countries too," she said.