China will for the first time host a meeting of the group overseeing management of the Antarctic at a time when Beijing is seeking to bolster its presence in both polar regions, the South China Morning Post reports. Some 400 delegates, from more than 40 countries and international organizations, will attend the annual meeting of the Antarctic Treaty, which begins on Monday and ends on June 1. The meeting will cover administration of the treaty, climate change, tourism and other management issues. The treaty has 53 members, 29 of which are consultative parties with voting rights, including China, which joined in 1983. On the sidelines of the talks, China will sign memorandums of understanding on cooperation in the Antarctic with the United States, Russia and Germany, and issue a white paper on its objectives in the region. Although China has no territorial claim to Antarctica, it has established four research stations there with a fifth planned.
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