Wed, August 11, 2010
Sci-Tech > Science

China, Argentina to strengthen cooperation on antarctic expedition

2010-08-11 09:47:03 GMT2010-08-11 17:47:03 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BUENOS AIRES, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- China and Argentina will conduct more active cooperation on antarctic scientific expedition, an official from the State Oceanic Administration of China has said.

"As a country closest to the South Pole in Latin America, Argentina provides ideal conditions for Chinese expedition teams to gather and rest before entering the pole," Wei Wenliang, head of the Polar Expedition Office of the administration, told Xinhua on Monday.

Wei is here with a delegation from the administration to attend the 22nd Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) held in the Argentine capital.

"China is willing to launch more antarctic scientific expedition projects with Argentina and contribute to peace of the South Pole, especially after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's successful visit to China in July this year," said Wei.

Wei said the third generation of China's polar expedition ship Xue Long (Snow Dragon) has entered the Buenos Aires harbor and Ushuaia harbor in southern Argentina for supplies several times. The first and second generations of China's polar expedition ship also have been to Argentina.

He added that when China's new polar expedition ship is launched, it will dock in Argentina on its way to the South Pole.

The Kunlun research station, located at the highest point of the antarctic icecap with the altitude of 4,090 meters, is under construction now. Wei said the project, upon completion in two or three years, will be open to scientists from different countries just like the Great Wall and Zhongshan stations.

Chinese scientists have made more than 5,000 visits to the South Pole and published a similar number of high-quality papers on the subject since antarctic scientific expedition started in China 26 years ago, said Wei. But he noted that China still has a lot to learn from other countries' experience and achievements.

He said it is difficult for any country to carry out a big project all by itself on the South Pole. Therefore, countries should join hands and drawn on each other's strength to achieve their goals.

The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, with its headquarter in Buenos Aires, held several international conferences last week. Some 800 scientists from more than 40 countries attended the meetings, and discussed joint scientific expedition in the South Pole and the prevention of its pollution, among other topics.

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