China solicits name for new polar icebreaker online

Updated: 2011-11-15 16:52


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BEIJING - China is asking netizens to help name its new 8,000-metric-ton polar icebreaker.

People can log on to to offer their suggestions from November 15 to December 10, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said in a statement.

The name must be in Chinese and consist of five or fewer characters, the statement said, adding that two-character names will be preferred.

The new vessel is designed to have a cruising radius of 20,000 nautical miles and be capable of breaking ice with a thickness of 1.5 meters or greater. It will also be equipped with a helicopter, a remotely-operated vehicle and an autonomous underwater vehicle, the statement said.

The vessel will be sent on polar expeditions along with the Xuelong, or "snow dragon," another Chinese icebreaker.

The most popular name for the new ship thus far is Binglong, or "ice dragon," according to the campaign website. The 20 most popular names will be added to a final list, which will be reviewed by an expert panel, the statement said.

The ship's name will be announced by the end of 2011, with the contributor of the winning name receiving a prize of 5,000 yuan ($788), the statement said.

China plans to launch five Antarctic expeditions and three Arctic expeditions from 2011 to 2015.