China wants to further explore the Antarctic and Arctic, according to the Chinese State Oceanic Administration. Deep-sea mining and deep-sea space stations are on the agenda, while Beijing wants to arrange a joint Arctic expedition with Russia
The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) wants to establish an air service team, which will allow for greater exploration of Antarctica, according to Xinhua. Given the harsh environment they will be working in, the Chinese scientists understand they will need to adapt their technology and equipment to be compatible with their surroundings.
China also has economic interests in the region. Despite a treaty banning mining in Antarctica, which comes up for review in 2048, but does not expire, the SOA wants to carryout pilot deep-sea mining projects. Antarctica is believed to have large deposits of oil and gas, as well as minerals, such as iron ore and coal.
To get a better picture of what is beneath the giant ice sheets of Antarctica; researchers also plan to build a deep-sea space station.
“[The] administration will advance innovative development patterns for the ocean economy involving internet and big data, and a number of state oceanic laboratories will be built,” said Zhang Zhanhai, the SOA’s head of strategic planning.