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China's First Arctic Expedition
The China's Arctic Expedition from June 1999--September 1999 conducted by Chinese scientists covered nearly all relevant scientific fields, including the ocean, biological species, the atmosphere, geological conditions, and the oceanic ice, Chen Liqi, the chief scientist leading the team, said in an interview with Xinhua.

And more than 50 elite Chinese polar researchers from various fields participated in the event.

Chen pointed out that the global climate changes reflected in the Arctic area require multi-field collaboration, and that it is not possible for people from any single field to carry out such an inspection of the earth.

"It is not common to have such a large-scale comprehensive expedition," said the chief scientist, adding that China's latest Arctic expedition expects to significantly advance the nation's Arctic research, and will train a group of outstanding scholars for China's future polar study in various fields.

Chen had been to both the South and the North poles many times over the past decade, and now he is a key figure in charge of China's polar study.

"Global climate changes are the result of the integrated effect of many factors. During the expedition, we employed various means, such as yachts and helicopters, to carry out multi-site simultaneous observation of the integrated effect of the ice, the atmosphere, and the sea," the scientist explained.

According to Chen, the Arctic area studied by the Chinese had been largely unexplored by the international science community. In many of the marine areas that the Chinese expedition ship traveled, there was almost no guidance available in the present marine maps and materials.

In this sense, the success of the expedition fully demonstrated the Chinese scientists' strong sense of responsibility for the global changes and environmental problems and their positive contributions to scientific understanding of the North Pole.

He also mentioned that some relevant research institutes from the US and Canada were quite helpful to China's Arctic expedition, and that some researchers from Russia, the Republic of Korea, and Japan also joined the expedition. So, the expedition was an example of successful international cooperation.

The chief scientist said that the expedition turned out to be a big success and that the planned targets were fulfilled. "International cooperation is an important trend in polar study. The Chinese and foreign scientists had wide-ranging exchanges during the expedition," he said, hoping that this trend will continue and be further strengthened.

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