BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - China is leading the world in certain areas of deep-sea exploration, said a veteran submersible operator on Wednesday (Oct 18).
"China's deep sea submersible technology has changed from being a follower to world leader in certain areas," Mr Tang Jialing, 33, told reporters on the sidelines of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
China will continue to improve the efficiency and dive time for Jiaolong, China's first deep-sea manned submersible and contribute more to deep-sea scientific research, exploration and services, he said.
Mr Tang, a delegate to the 19th CPC National Congress, was one of the first Chinese submersible operators. He has participated in all of Jiaolong's 1,000-7,000m dive trials. He also set the world diving record with Jiaolong in June 2012, reaching 7,062m in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific.
"Some areas of the deep sea are extremely barren, but some areas are extremely rich with life," he said. "There are so many amazing things to uncover and explore."
In 2002, China began its first deep-sea manned submersible project. In 2010, the Jiaolong, named after a mythical sea dragon, went into service.
China completed the first deep-sea test of its new manned submersible, Shenhai Yongshi, (Deep-Sea Warrior), in early October. It reached a depth of 4,500m in the South China Sea.
While much of Jiaolong's equipment was imported, around 90 per cent of the equipment for Shenhai Yongshi and all its core components were domestically made, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
China is also aiming to reach a depth of 10,000m someday with domestically-made submersibles.