The 9th China-Russia Arctic Forum Held Online

On December 2 and 3, 2020, the 9th China-Russia Arctic Forum was held by OUC. More than 100 representatives from Chinese and Russian universities and research institutes attended the meeting online to discuss Arctic cooperation. Wang Jianmin, OUC’s Vice President for Financial Affairs and Sergei Andreutian, Vice President of Saint Petersburg State University attended the opening ceremony.

Wang reviewed the achievements that the forum made in the eight years since its establishment, and expressed his gratitude to the academic communities of the two countries. He hoped that Chinese and Russian scholars will carry out extensive academic exchanges and make greater progress in China-Russia Arctic cooperation.

Andreutian spoke of the experience and achievements in Arctic cooperation between the two sides, and the need for strengthening cooperation in the post-COVID-19 era. He said that the topic of this forum is of strategic significance and academic value and both sides shall give full play to their academic strength under the forum framework, jointly contributing to Arctic research.

The forum covered four themes including Arctic science education, medical treatment, environmental protection and economic development in the post-COVID-19 era. Professors from Saint Petersburg State University said that China and Russia have great potential in Arctic science education. They hoped that the two sides can build a unified mechanism to deepen bilateral ties. On medical cooperation, scholars discussed how to make better use of Arctic biological resources and medicinal materials to strengthen cooperation. In terms of economic interactions, Chinese scholars expressed their views on the Polar Silk Road and energy cooperation in the post-COVID-19 era, indicating greater cooperation prospects and opportunities. Scholars also discussed legal issues related to environmental protection, ecosystem protection and the building of a China-Russia Arctic environmental protection cooperation mechanism.

In his concluding remarks, Prof. Guo Peiqing, the convener of the forum with the OUC School of International Affairs and Public Administration, said that with the support of the participating universities, the forum will continue to thrive and produce fruitful outcomes. He said that the two sides should align their internal demands for Arctic development, so they can complement each other by deepening cooperation. Prof. Najerda Harampieva, the convener of the forum with Saint Petersburg State University, said that the forum had been successfully held for many years. She hoped that as the Arctic research progresses, there will be more scholars participating from both sides, contributing to the polar research in both countries.

The China-Russia Arctic Forum, founded in 2012, was co-launched by OUC and Saint Petersburg State University. It is hosted by the two universities in turn, and has been successfully held for nine times, attracting government and business representatives, polar research experts and scholars. Through the forum, China and Russia have conducted in-depth exchanges on the development and cooperation of the Arctic region. Today, the forum has become an institutionalized and normalized platform for exchanges between Chinese and Russian Arctic scholars.