China plans to build a third icebreaker and deep-sea submersible. Know the project details and China’s ambitions

China is ready to build a third icebreaker. This deep-sea submersible will make China the second country in the world to use crewed submersibles for the purpose of conducting scientific trips to the Arctic seabed.

Details of the project

Shipbuilding is expected to be completed in 2025. The Hainan Provincial Government, the Institute of Deep Sea Science and Engineering and other organizations are funding this project.

How will this project help?

Submersibles offer great potential to take scientific exploration to the next level. How will it advance scientific discovery? Well, the ship will allow researchers to transport to remote and deep polar seabeds. As a result, deep-sea crewed submersibles will aid in the exploration of areas that were previously difficult to explore.

What do experts say about icebreakers?

Director of the Marine Equipment and Operations Management Center, Tang Gulashan, said the new icebreaker will focus on crewed deep-sea scientific research.

He further emphasized the fact that apart from Russia, no country in the world has succeeded in deploying individuals, with the help of submersibles, to the bottom of the polar sea. He further emphasized the essential research value related to the polar regions.

According to some Chinese experts, the plan is for the ship to spend four months each year specifically on trips to the polar region for scientific research. The rest of the year will be devoted to deep-sea research in areas such as the South China Sea.

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China’s ambition

Currently there are two icebreakers being operated by China. These two icebreakers are Xuelong 1 and Xuelong 2. These two icebreakers play an important role in supplying goods to the 7 North and South poles of China.

Furthermore, these icebreakers also play an important role in supporting research on ice caps, marine environments and atmospheric composition in polar regions.

China’s attempt to build a third icebreaker tells the world that it wishes to emulate Russia’s ambitions to create a fleet of next-generation icebreakers.

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Will the new ship help China increase its presence in the Arctic?

In 2018, in its Arctic policy document, China declared itself a “near-Arctic power”. The country attaches great importance to enhancing energy security as it is determined to shift its economic dependence away from coal.

Beijing’s policy goals around the Arctic revolve around understanding, conserving, developing, and participating in regional governance.

This policy stems from China’s recognition that the Arctic is of great strategic, environmental and economic importance. This very significant thing allows China to exercise rights related to freedom of navigation, scientific research, cable installation, resource exploitation and fishing activities in the area.

The upcoming Chinese ship is expected to be delivered in 2025 and is expected to conduct crewed deep dives in polar regions in the same year.

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