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Chinese deep-sea base to start operation in 2014

( Xinhua )

Updated: 2013-01-23

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Qingdao -- Construction on a national deep-sea base will begin in May 2013 in East China's Shandong province and will be completed by the end of 2014, local authorities said on Jan 22.

The deep-sea base is expected to go into operation by the end of 2014, said Liu Feng, director of the National Deep Sea Center based in the coastal city of Qingdao.

"A series of facilities, including wharfs, a deep-sea equipment maintenance workshop and large-scale experimental pools, as well as oceanaut training facilities, will be put into use by then," Liu said.

Located in Aoshanwei township in the city of Jimo under the jurisdiction of Qingdao, the deep-sea base's poor accessibility and living conditions will make it difficult to attract talent, Liu said.

The base will not only be a ground support station for the Jiaolong manned submersible, but will also act as an operations platform for large-scale deep-sea equipment, according to Liu.

The base will also serve as a multi-functional institution that will aid China in its study and exploration of the ocean, Liu added.

The construction of the base was approved by the State Council, or China's cabinet, in January 2007.