China seeks to allay concerns over Arctic activities

China is seeking to allay concerns about its increasingly prominent activities in the Arctic, saying it won't interfere in the actions of nations in the region.

Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou (SHWEN'-yo) says China is interested in participating in scientific studies and the exploitation of new sea routes that have opened up with the receding of sea ice.

He said Friday the involvement and contributions of the Chinese government and companies would "bring opportunities to the Arctic."

China's presence in the Arctic has raised fears among some countries that it is seeking to grab resource-extraction opportunities resulting from climate change.

With Iceland's support, China was granted observer status in 2013 at the Arctic Council, whose core members are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, the United States and Iceland.