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China to construct own polar research vessel

By : CRI|Updated: 2011-10-11

China is set to build a giant research vessel, known as a 'polar icebreaker' which will be capable of circumnavigating and penetrating the polar icecaps.

The ship will be launched in 2013, according to "People.com.cn" which cited the Global Chinese Broadcasting Cooperation. The new icebreaker, yet to be named, will go on polar scientific expeditions along with the Xuelong, or "the Snow Dragon", China's current icebreaker, which was made in the Ukraine.

According to reports from Xinhua, the new icebreaker will be equipped with the world's most advanced technologies and will have a high ice class, which means the vessel will give high icebreaking performances in the polar regions, and therefore greatly increase the efficiency of polar expeditions. The new icebreaker will operate in both the north and south poles with the Xuelong to conduct more scientific research in these areas.

Yang Huigen, the director of the Polar Research Institute of China, says the new icebreaker will be one of the world's best in terms of navigation, icebreaking ability, facilities and communication systems. He also says the first self-built icebreaker is of great importance to China's polar scientific research. "The new icebreaker will help us strengthen surveillance of the Arctic and Antarctic areas, I believe it will bring significant advances to our research," Yang said.