The China Program for International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 was officially launched in Beijing on Thursday.
While this is the fourth IPY, it is the first time China has taken part.
Chen Lianzeng, vice chairman of the IPY Chinese Committee and deputy director of the State Oceanic Administration, said the China IPY Program includes an Antarctic expedition plan, known as PANDA, a scientific expedition to the North Pole, international exchanges and public education.
The PANDA plan, listed as one of the core research missions, is a multi-goal research plan, including deep ice coring at Dome A, the highest location on the Antarctic ice sheet, and a study of the interactions of the ocean-ice shelf-ice sheet system from Pridz Bay to Dome A via the Amery Ice Shelf.
The 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 launched 23 Antarctic expeditions since 1984 and built two permanent exploration stations named Changcheng (Great Wall) and Zhongshan.
China has almost 10,000 Antarctic aerolites, or meteorite stones, including priceless Lunar and Martian aerolites, the third largest collection in the world.
China has also launched two Arctic expeditions and built the Huanghe (Yellow River) exploration station in the Arctic in July 2004.
(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2007)