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05/07/2013 05:12 pm ET

Arctic Council: China, European Union Hope To Gain 'Permanent Observer' Status To Intergovernmental Forum

A group of eight countries with a direct stake in the future of the Arctic may vote next week to give China and a number of other countries a greater role in its activities.

The Arctic Council is currently made up of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, the United States and Canada, but China and the European Union are among those nations hoping to gain "permanent observer" status so that they can have a greater voice in Arctic issues.

Malte Humpert, the executive director of policy think tank The Arctic Institute, joined HuffPost Live Monday to explain what China's involvement could mean for the country and why many believe its chances of gaining "permanent observer" status are greater than the EU's.

Click here to watch the full HuffPost Live discussion on the future of the Arctic.

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