BEIJING: Chinese officials plan to detail their ambitions in Antarctica as Beijing hosts a meeting of an international group that oversees management of the polar region.

Scientific research in Antarctica is governed under a 1959 treaty that designated the ice-capped continent as a natural reserve.

China signed on in 1983 and has since established four Antarctic research stations with a fifth planned.

About 400 representatives from 42 countries and 10 international organisations are expected to attend the 40th Antarctic Treaty meeting beginning Monday, including Yang Jiechi, a senior foreign policy adviser to Chinese president Xi Jinping, and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

Chinese officials plan to sign polar cooperation agreements with the United States, Russia and Germany.

Climate change and Antarctica's fast-growing tourist trade also are on the agenda.