"China Granted Observer Seat on Arctic Governing Council"
"The Arctic Council agreed on Wednesday to admit emerging powers China and India as observers, reflecting growing global interest in the trade and energy potential of the planet's Far North."
"The organization, which coordinates Arctic policy, is gaining clout as sea ice thaws to open up new trade routes and intensify competition for oil and gas - estimated at 15 percent and 30 percent respectively of undiscovered reserves.
China has been active in the polar region, becoming one of the biggest mining investors in Greenland and agreeing a free trade deal with Iceland. Shorter shipping routes across the Arctic Ocean would save its companies time and money."
SEE ALSO:Source: Reuters, 05/16/2013