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China has been looking more and more like a key player in the great Arctic land grab, cosying up to Denmark in an attempt to gain access to Greenland’s key resources.However new reports in Norwegien newspaper Aftenposten suggest that Norway’s government is attempting to block this ambition due to a deepening diplomatic rift between the two, caused by the award of a Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese Activist Liu Xiaobo in 2010.
Norway is now likely to block China’s attempt to gain a permanant observer seat at the Arctic Council — which requires consent from all eight countries currently on board.
Aftenposten sites an unnamed diplomatic source, and officially Norway has not made a decision.
“I can neither confirm nor deny this story, but I can say bilateral contacts between Norway and China are at a low level,” Karsten Klepsvik, the senior Arctic official at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said according to the Guardian.