French MP says West should respect Crimean people’s choiceWorld March 29, 14:12
Russian-US relations at record-low — top lawmakerRussian Politics & Diplomacy March 29, 14:09
Tehran, Moscow enter new stage of cooperation — RouhaniWorld March 29, 14:06
Senator highlights Russian-Iranian ‘combat brotherhood’ in Syria backed at highest levelRussian Politics & Diplomacy March 29, 13:49
Palestine names conditions for peace treaty with Israel — AbbasWorld March 29, 13:45
Ukraine to continue upholding its position on Russia’s $3bln debt lawsuit in London courtBusiness & Economy March 29, 13:35
Church spokesman slams St. Isaac’s handover referendum bid as ‘counter-productive’Society & Culture March 29, 13:29
Press review: Sberbank's loss on Ukrainian subsidiary sale and Central bank under firePress Review March 29, 13:00
London High Court to hear Russia’s lawsuit on Ukraine’s $3bln debt in expedited procedureBusiness & Economy March 29, 12:31
BEIJING, October 29. /TASS/. China has announced plans to construct an airfield in Antarctica to advance its scientific research and exploration projects on the continent, the Global Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The fixed-wing airport will be located not far away from the Zhongshan Station in East Antarctica. The report provides no other details on the runway’s length and capacity.
China currently does not have its own fixed-wing airport in Antarctica, and most personnel and resources are transported to the Earth's southernmost continent via sea.
"Air transport will increase transportation efficiency and therefore help to accelerate China's scientific research at the South Pole," Xue Lei, research fellow at Shanghai's Center for Maritime and Polar Studies, said.
The scientist believes that the speed of marine transportation has slowed amid ice melting in the region caused by climate change, and the risks have increased.
During China’s latest expedition which ended in April this year, polar explorers opened the country’s fourth research station called Taishan, which is located at an altitude of 2,600 km above the sea level.
China launched its first Antarctic expedition in 1984. For its expeditions, China uses its sole icebreaker Xuelong (Snow Dragon), which it bought from Ukraine in 1993.
The icebreaker is scheduled to leave Shanghai for Antarctica on Thursday to find out if the proposed site for the construction of an airfield is suitable. Xuelong is expected to arrive at Zhongshan Station in mid-December.
Antarctica is considered to be a politically neutral continent, although a range of countries claim sovereignty in certain areas.