China launched a nationwide campaign on Monday to select 10 college students for an Arctic visit next year. The trip aims to arouse greater public attention to China's Arctic research.
The "Embrace the First Ray of Sunshine in the Arctic" trip will provide the opportunity for the students to visit a number of landmarks, including the Svalbard Islands in northern Norway, the Chinese Arctic Yellow River Station and the Norwegian Polar Institute.
"This activity, the first of its kind in China, aims to drive home the message that the public, especially college students, should be more concerned with the relationship between the Arctic, global climate change and human beings," said Yang Huigen, deputy director of the Polar Research Institute of China.
The exploration, co-sponsored by the International Polar Year (IPY) Chinese committee and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was among the international cooperation and exchange activities of The China Program for IPY 2007-2008. It was officially launched in March. It is also the fourth IPY and the first time China has taken part.
The 10 students will be selected after a national on-line knowledge contest about the polar region and a series of tests for their English proficiency and physical and psychological condition.
IPY is an international event during which scientists carry out large-scale, joint scientific activities.
During IPY, thousands of scientists from more than 60 countries and regions and a wide range of research disciplines, will carry out 220 science and outreach projects.
China has undertaken extensive exploration in the Antarctic over the years with 23 expeditions since 1984. It had also built two permanent exploration stations, Changcheng (Great Wall) and Zhongshan.
The country has almost 10,000 Antarctic aerolites, or meteorite stones, including priceless Lunar and Martian aerolites, the third largest collection of its type in the world.
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2007)