China’s ambassador to Norway: We have a lot to learn in the Arctic

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“Our main focus in the Arctic areas is scientific research, we want to follow the development of the climate change,” says China’s Ambassador to Norway, Min Wang.

China's Ambassador to Norway, Min Wang (right) met with the Dean of Nord University Business School, Erlend Bullvåg and other representatives of Nord University. (Per Jarl Elle / Nord University).
China’s Ambassador to Norway, Min Wang (right) met with the Dean of Nord University Business School, Erlend Bullvåg and other representatives of Nord University. (Per Jarl Elle / Nord University).

High North News spoke with the ambassador after a visit to Nord University Wednesday, where Wang strongly underlined the need and wish for stronger relations between China and Norway.

“Research by Chinese scientists in the High North is at a very initial stage, I think we are far behind the research level of other countries – like Russia, like the United States and like Norway,” Wang said, adding that he thinks China has a lot to learn from scientists from other countries in the High North.

And this is the only background for China’s interests in the Arctic areas, Wang said. He also addressed relationships between China and Norway during the conversation:

High North News: You yourself are known as a strong supporter of cooperation between the regions of differents states or countries. Why is that? Are the regions better in cooperating than the national states?

Min Wang: No, no, no – that is not the case; the regions are parts of any sovereign country, so there are always several levels of cooperations among different countries.

First of all is the national level, and the second area is about the regional level. So the regional level is one of the substantial parts  of the relationships between different countries. That means that if you have a strong regional relationship, you also have a stronger country-to-country relationship.

HNN: In the north of Norway, the people-to-people relations with Russia is quite tight, and probably also easing the Norway-Russia relations on a national level. Do you see any possible development, like that, between the Chinese and Norwegian people?

Wang: Yes, if we work together, we could. If we work together closely, and along continuous lines, that is possible. But there is one small problem; China is far away from Norway – and we are divided by only one country – Russia – and that is not a small country, it is big.

At Nord university, Wang received information about the international cooperation taking place within education and science between Nord University and partners in both China and Russia.

He was also told about the development of The Center for High North Logistics, regarding the Northern Sea Route and he was informed of parts of the technical developments in Norwegian fish farming – now heading for farming the high seas.

Ambassador Wang underlined the necessity that not only the countries Norway and China should keep up the cooperation, but also the professors and the universities, and make sure that – as he put it, “not have setbacks in the future.”