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Chinese Scientists Launch Expedition to Amazon River

Chinese scientists left north China's Tianjin port city Monday for a month-long expedition in the Amazon River valley's tropical rainforest.

This is the first time for Chinese scientists to thoroughly research the river valley, said Tao Baoxiang, team leader and senior engineer of the Geographic and Resources Institutes in the China Academy of Sciences.

The team has 19 members, most come from institutes focusing on animal research, hydrophilic biology and tropic plants of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The research team will spend eight days in each of the upper, middle and lower reaches of the river, and research projects will include the ecological environment, biological diversity and life of indigenous inhabitants, Tao said. They will also do a comparative study with the tropical forest in Xishuangbanna in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

"It has been my long-aspired dream," said Chen Guangwei, a team member, "Amazon is a treasure of all humanity and to protect it from deteriorating needs more knowledge on it."
Chen's projects include research on geology, weather and natural energy.

Amazon, one of the world's longest rivers, has a valley area of 5.8 million kilometers.

(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2004)

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