Nations meet to discuss Antarctica
China called for better understanding, protection and development of Antarctica as it hosted the start of the 40 th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting on May 23. The southernmost continent should be developed in a peaceful manner, and countries involved should increase their political trust and shared responsibility, Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said in the opening ceremony of the meeting in Beijing. On May 22, China published its first white paper, China’s Antarctic Programs, on its Antarctic explorations, pledging to boost its capabilities in the exploration and study of the continent. The paper says China will build a new permanent station and advanced icebreakers, develop aerial capability for surveying transportation, and design scientific apparatus for the Antarctic environment.