China's Jiaolong submersible to explore Indian Ocean

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Jiaolong, China's first manned deep-sea submersible, is scheduled for oceanic research in the southwest Indian Ocean and the northwest Pacific Ocean in 2014, said the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on Thursday at a national maritime work conference.

The administration will also try to open up Jiaolong to be used by institutions and companies other than the developer for deep-sea research, said the SOA.

In 2012, Jiaolong, the country's most advanced manned submersible, achieved a record dive depth of more than 7,000 meters in the Pacific's Mariana Trench.

"China will positively implement the consensus on oceanic exploration to carry out resource assessments and deep-sea research," said Liu Cigui, head of the SOA.

Liu said that 2014 will see China conduct its 30th scientific expedition to the Antarctic, its sixth to the Arctic and an annual assessment of the country's Arctic Yellow River Station.

China will also strengthen monitoring of radioactivity in international public waters, set up an early warning system for radioactivity in the West Pacific, and report the information to governments at all levels, he added.

"China will step up the building of research vessels, including polar icebreakers, mother ships for manned submersibles and comprehensive research vessels, and work toward constructing 20 new coast guard vessels," according to Liu. Endi

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