Australian and Chinese officials met yesterday in Hobart, Tasmania, for the first meeting of the Joint Committee on Antarctic and Southern Ocean Collaboration.
The meeting signals our desire to strengthen cooperation on Antarctic science, operations and enhanced environmental protection. We agreed on priorities to guide our future work, both on the ground in Antarctica and through the Antarctic Treaty system.
China and Australia have a strong tradition of cooperation in Antarctica spanning many decades. Australia helped facilitate China’s first visit to east Antarctica 30 years ago, and we have continued to work closely together, providing support for each other’s Antarctic programs.
The Joint Committee was established under the China Australia Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in the Field of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Affairs, signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Hobart in November 2014.
Australia will continue to work closely with China and other countries to conduct world class science and protect Antarctica’s unique environment.
The statement refers to the Joint Committee’s inaugural meeting and agreed priorities for a joint program of work.