Photo: Wei Fuhai
About the People’s Republic of China’s National Antarctic Program
COMNAP Representative (MNAP): Weng Lixin, Director General, CAA
(DMNAP): Zhang Tijun, Deputy Director, PRIC
China’s National Antarctic Program is led by Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration (CAA), which performs the function of organizing polar expeditions and administering polar affairs on behalf of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), P. R. China, to which it is affiliated. The Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC), which is also a subsidiary body of SOA, undertakes to implement some specific scientific research programs, operate the Antarctic facilities and provide logistics support.
China has established three Antarctic stations. They are the Great Wall Station, Zhongshan Station and Kunlun Station. The Great Wall Station, which was built in 1985, is located on King George Island of the Peninsula region of Antarctica. The station can accommodate 80 people in summer and 40 in winter. Zhongshan Station was built in 1989 in the Larsemann Hills area of East Antarctica. The summer capacity is 60 people, while capacity is 25 people in winter. On 27 January 2009, the Kunlun Station, China’s Antarctic inland station, was opened at Dome A and since then, operates only in summer. Its geographic location is ideal for scientific research in the study of glaciology and astronomy in particular.
The icebreaker Xuelong is used for Antarctic research and resupply of the stations. It was ice strengthened in 1994 and equipped with advanced navigational equipment and science laboratories. A new icebreaker is now in the process of being designed.
The Organization Structure of China’s Polar Program
The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) is a government body responsible for leading Chinese polar expeditions and administering polar affairs, under which involves two subsidiary bodies.
Affiliated to SOA, the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration (CAA) is located in Beijing with about 40 permanent staff. CAA performs the general function of organizing Arctic and Antarctic expeditions and science programs nationwide, administering the related Arctic and Antarctic affairs, participating in international organizations and promoting international collaboration in the polar field on behalf of SOA.
The Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC), which is located in Shanghai and has about 230 permanent staff, is an institute for polar research, logistics operation and data processing. PRIC is responsible for conducting some scientific programs, operation of M/V Xuelong and the daily station management, as well as managing the Chinese polar science database and the publication of an English journal of “Advances in Polar Science” (http://journal.polar.gov.cn/CN/volumn/current.shtml).
CAA also calls on universities and research institutes across the country to participate in Chinese National Antarctic Program in various scientific areas.
The operational budget of the China’s National Antarctic Program for the year 2012 is 200 million Chinese Yuan, of which 62 million goes directly to science and 138 million goes to operations and logistics in support of science.
Our Science Program
The Chinese National Antarctic Program is largely organized into a 5-year program called the “Chinese Polar Environment Comprehensive Investigation and Assessment Programs” approved by SOA. In Antarctica, the Program is comprised of three parts: the Antarctic Marine Environment Survey, the Antarctic Terrestrial Environment Survey and a Comprehensive Assessment of the Antarctic Environment. The program will be implemented through a series of multi-discipline surveys and assessments, involving Oceanography, Biology and Ecology, Meteorology, Astronomy, Geology, and Glaciology. In addition, China will continue to conduct routine winter observations both at Great Wall Station and Zhongshan Station.
More than 30 national research institutes and universities, including PRIC, have been actively involved in the strategic science program. To strengthen international cooperation in Antarctic research and fulfill the missions of SCAR, international participants are encouraged to join in the Program through collaboration with those national institutes and universities.
Our Contact Details
Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration
No. 1, Fuxingmenwai Avenue
Polar Research Institute of China
451 Jinqiao Road
Pudong, Shanghai 200136
Phone, Fax, Email
Phone: +86 10 6803 6469
Fax: +86 10 6801 2776
Phone: +86 21 5871 2101
Fax: +86 21 5871 1663