China has decided to build a third permanent research station in the Antarctic and rebuild its two existing stations to upgrade its science facilities on the continent.
The third station will be built at Dome-A, the highest point on the continent at 4,093 meters above the sea level.
It will serve as a base for Chinese scientists who will study the evolution of the Antarctic continent and the impact of changes in the icecap on global climate, said Wang Lianzhong, deputy head of the Polar Mapping Project Center under the Heilongjiang Provincial Mapping Bureau on Friday.
Wang said Chinese scientists will map the icecap and the land under the icecap to allow them to select the site for the new station in the next four years. The new station is expected to be built before 2010.
China founded its first scientific expedition station, Changcheng Station on King George Island in 1985, and established its second, Zhongshan Station on Larsemann Hills, in 1989.
Chinese scientists have carried out a series of observations and studies on low temperature biology, ecological environment, weather, ocean, atmospheric physics in the Antarctic area in the past 22 scientific expeditions to the South Pole.
China launched its first expedition to the Antarctic in 1984. Its 22nd expedition team to the continent returned home on March 28.