Director Vincent Gallucci was at the Chinese Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) for a two week visit to study the Chinese motivations for an interest in becoming permanent observer members of the Arctic Council. Several individual interviews were carried out as well as a roundtable discussion including an adviser to the foreign minister of Iceland, Kristijn Arnadottir, and about 20 Chinese visitors from science institutes and from policy departments, one from the Central Committee. It started with his introduction to how the Arctic was changing and a highlighting a fundamental difference between the Arctic situation and others, viz., the importance of taking into account the values and perspectives of Canadian indigenous people. He noted that this assumes major proportions when it is realized that the Canadian Arctic Ocean coastline is second only to that of Russia’s. Over a dozen Chinese participants expressed their viewpoints and commented on his own. Many points were debated, sometimes enthusiastically. This visit will likely be followed by a summer visit in Seattle, perhaps coordinated with visitors from Korea, to further discuss substantive issues raised in March.
Vincent Gallucci is the director of the Canadian Studies Center; a professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; adjunct in the Jackson School and the School for Marine Affairs and is director of the Center for Quantitative Sciences in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife. His research focus is the management of fishery resources in developing countries and upon coldwater fisheries in the Bering/Arctic seas.