Beijing: With the vessel Xu Long caught by Antarctic ice during its recent rescue mission, China has decided to build an advanced icebreaker, Qu Tanzhou, director of Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration said.
The People’s Republic is rapidly building up its polar infrastructure in line with its intentions to use the northern sea route for quicker access to Europe.
The new vessel will be shorter than Xu Long, with stronger icebreaking capabilities and power systems, and will be built in China.
The final design of the vessel will be completed by early next year.
Xu Long was imported from Ukraine and then became the only Chinese icebreaker to make Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. [07/01/13]