China ship sails to Atlantic and back, via Arctic

Sep 27, 2012
In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, is harbored in Shanghai, after an 85-day scientific quest across the Arctic ocean, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. The Chinese icebreaker has docked at Shanghai after becoming the first Chinese vessel to cross the Arctic Ocean. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Pei Xin)

(AP)—A Chinese icebreaker docked Thursday at Shanghai after becoming the first vessel from China to cross the Arctic Ocean, a landmark trip that is part of Beijing's efforts to expand its presence in the Arctic.

With melting icecaps accelerating the opening of new shipping routes and the exploration of oil, gas and in the Arctic, China has been eager to gain a foothold in the region.

The icebreaker Snow Dragon returned to Shanghai after wrapping up a three-month mission that took it from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic via the Arctic, the Shanghai-based Polar Research Institute of China said in a statement. The vessel's 119 crew members completed an oceanic survey in waters around Iceland with their Icelandic counterparts.

Though it has no territorial claims in the Arctic, China has been lobbying for permanent observer status on the eight-member Arctic Council in a bid to gain influence.

During summer months when they are passable, Arctic between China and Europe are 40 percent faster than traveling through the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal and the .

The institute's statement said Snow Dragon gained "first-hand information about navigation in lanes as well as the oceanic environment, and carried out useful exploration and practice for our nation's ships that use Arctic passages in the future."

Explore further: A 3-D view of the Greenland Ice Sheet opens window on ice history

3.7 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China to build first polar-expedition icebreaker

Jul 31, 2012

China is set to construct its first icebreaker for polar expeditions, state media said Tuesday, in a move it described as greatly boosting its ability to explore the strategic Arctic.

China sets sail for the Arctic

Jun 30, 2010

A Chinese research vessel and ice-breaker is due to set sail this week for the Arctic, a region much coveted by Beijing for its wealth of scientific data and natural resources.

Arctic Ocean waters warm suddenly

Oct 07, 2005

Water flowing from the North Atlantic Ocean into the Arctic provides evidence that the Arctic Ocean is warming, according to U.S. and European researchers.

Recommended for you

Geologists solve mystery of Tibetan mountains

Jan 23, 2015

In the most comprehensive study of its kind, University of Kansas geologists have unraveled one of the geologic mysteries of Tibet. The research, recently published online in Nature Geoscience, shows that i ...

Image: Greenland's Leidy Glacier

Jan 23, 2015

Located in the northwest corner of Greenland, Leidy Glacier is fed by ice from the Academy Glacier (upstream and inland). As Leidy approaches the sea, it is diverted around the tip of an island that separates ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.